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Dissatisfaction underlies Erdogan’s election victory

Despite the low turnout, Turkey's Prime Minister emerged victorious on Sunday, claiming over 50 percent of the vote as the country's first popularly elected president.

But as Recip Erdogan further consolidates his power, investors looking to capitalize on five more years of "Erdoganomics" would be wise to take note of growing dissatisfaction with the man and his policies. While he managed to eke out a majority in Sunday's election, Erdogan's 53 percent was far from an overwhelming victory.

Many voters told CNBC that their vote was less about electing the Prime Minister's two rivals in the presidential race than about trying to support the anti-Erdogan.

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Among the upwardly mobile, rising middle class that Erdogan's policies have helped to create many are beginning to look askance at a man they feel is at best out of touch and authoritarian, at worst socially backward and corrupt. And dissatisfaction with his heavy-handed tactics aside, many Turks are increasingly concerned with the government's failure to overtly reject extreme forms of Islam, in a word, the Islamic State (IS).

Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish Presidential election winner according to unofficial results, greets the crowd at the AK Party's headquarters in Ankara, Turkey.
Kayhan Ozer | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish Presidential election winner according to unofficial results, greets the crowd at the AK Party's headquarters in Ankara, Turkey.

With thousands of men and women held by members of IS in Mosul the government has imposed a media blackout on the topic, but many in Turkey feel the ban is too little too late from Erdogan, whose support of radical elements in Syria is well known. And it's just that kind of strategic misstep that has doomed Turkey's "no enemies" foreign policy.

The most pressing and obvious example being that of Turkey's borders with Syria and Iraq, now under threat from extremists, the over one million Syrian refugees living off Turkey's largesse and the Iraqi government now effectively sidelined as Turkey's second-largest trading partner.

Turkey's relationship with its Kurds is also under pressure as the Islamic state pushes further toward the Kurdish Regional Government in Erbil. And yes, while for many voters Sunday's election was based on economic concerns - it seems to be more about the devil or in this case devil's policies that you know rather than those you don't that count.

Read MoreErdogan vows reconciliation after presidential win

Neither of Erdogan's opponents seemed to have a clear economic agenda - and while precious little was heard from either of them in the national media -the prime minister's success at manipulating the press can be applied everywhere but the numbers.

It's tough to beat a man credited with Turkey's 45 percent rise in real gross domestic product (GDP) in just over a decade. But the fact that his two opponents, whose names no one will likely remember, managed to keep him from overwhelming victory is something to think about - and keep an eye on.