Turkey Election: Ruling AKP Regains Victory
With almost all ballots counted, the AKP had taken just shy of 50 per cent of the votes, comfortably enough to control a majority in the 550-seat parliament and a far higher margin of victory than even party insiders had expected.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that voters had “shown that they prefer action and development to controversy”. The pro-Kurdish HDP crossed the 1o per cent threshold needed to claim seats.
Erdogan said that the outcome was a vote for stability and a message to Kurdish insurgents in the country’s restive southeast that violence could not coexist with democracy.
Prime Minister and AKP leader, Ahmet Davutoglu, said on Twitter: “Today is a victory for our democracy and our people. Hopefully, we will serve you well for the next four years and stand in front of you once again in 2019.”
The nationalist MHP would also take seats in Ankara.
In a statement, President Erdogan said that the electorate had “given proof of their strong desire for the unity and integrity” of Turkey.
At AKP headquarters in Ankara, under a sky lit by fireworks, he later urged Turkey’s political parties to work together on a new constitution, which Erdogan has said he would like to see include executive powers for the presidency.
A senior official from the main CHP opposition, which had calculated on ‘reining in’ Erdogan’s influence with a coalition government, described the result as “simply a disaster”.
The outcome could aggravate deep splits in Turkey between pious conservatives, who champion Erdogan as a hero of the working class, and Western-facing secularists suspicious of his authoritarianism and Islamist ideals.
In June, the AKP lost the overall majority it had enjoyed since 2002.
In the mainly Kurdish southeastern city of Diyarbakir, security forces fired tear gas at stone-throwing protesters after support for the pro-Kurdish opposition fell perilously close to the 10 per cent threshold needed to enter parliament.