Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu hailed Sunday’s election as another victory for the ruling AKP – but with just under 41 percent of the vote, down from over 49 percent in 2011, the result was a major blow.
Former party leader and current president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, issued a statement saying the results don’t give a mandate to any single party and must be realistically assessed.
The secular CHP won 25 percent of the vote and the nationalist MHP 16.5 percent. With 13 percent of the vote, the HDP became the first pro-Kurdish party to exceed the 10 percent threshold and enter parliament.
Sunday marked an end to the AKP’s 13-year-long single party rule – and to the seeming invincibility of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The party now faces the challenge of forming a government.
Speaking at his party headquarters following Sunday’s vote, nationalist leader Devlet Bahceli ruled out joining a coalition and laid out the alternatives:
“The first possibility should be a coalition between the AKP and HDP. The second model is a coalition between the AKP, CHP and HDP. If these two options fail, early elections must be held.”
The HDP has also said it won’t partner with the AKP so the future of any coalition appears to fall to the CHP – a staunchly secular party which has long been an ardent critic of the AKP. Otherwise, a new election can be called within 45 days.
Sunday’s biggest winners were undoubtedly the HDP and celebrations continued throughout Sunday night in the predominantly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir.