Turkey’s ruling Islamist-rooted AK Party has scored a decisive victory in the country’s general election, according to early results. They show it has won around 50 percent of the vote. The election is seen as crucial to the country’s future direction. Opinion polls had indicated Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party government would win a fresh five year mandate.
The election was called four months early amid rising tension between the premier’s administration and Turkey’s secular elite. Voting is compulsory in Turkey and many people postponed their holidays or returned home early to cast their ballots. With two thirds of the votes counted, Turkish media reported that two other parties had crossed the 10 percent national threshold to enter parliament – with the leftist CHP winning 19.4 percent and the ultra-nationalist MHP on 14.7 percent.