It may have been an unexpected landslide win for the AK Party, but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the world to accept the election victory of the party he founded.
“Is this your understanding of democracy?” he asked as he left an Istanbul mosque on Monday morning (November 2). “Now, a party with some 50 percent in Turkey has attained power… This should be respected by the whole world, but I have not seen such maturity.”
Erdogan appealed for unity, amid fears the strength of the win could further deepen political polarisation in Turkey
“The national will manifested itself on November 1, in favour of stability. I hope it will be the best for our country. Let us be as one, be brothers and all be Turkey together.”
Critics say the AKP’s confidence could grow as a result of the election outcome, which in turn may lead to further clampdowns on free speech.
Initial results suggest the Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party – or AKP – won just shy of 50 percent of the votes, regaining the majority it lost in the June 7 election. Turkey will, in this case, return to single-party rule.
The second parliamentary election in five months was called after the June vote failed to provide one party with an overall majority. The AKP won with a minority, but failed to form a coalition, meaning a fresh vote had to be held.
Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoğlu celebrates his AK Party's election win pic.twitter.com/z9wUuuX8hd— euronews (@euronews) November 1, 2015
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the AKP is now expected to control around 316 of the 550 parliamentary seats. It needed at least 276 to guarantee an overall majority.
“I think this is a good development for Turkey,” said one man in Ankara. “A single-party government always has a positive effect on markets and the economy. But of course some people may be saddened by the fact that coalition governments are not commonly practiced in Turkey.”
The leftist CHP lagged way behind in second place, on around 25.4 percent (an estimated 134 seats).
“I don’t blame the AKP,” said one CHP supporter. “We deserved the win, but it wasn’t to be. I am truly sorry. There is no longer a leftist movement in Turkey.”
The pro-Kurdish HDP crossed the threshold for the second time but with less votes than in June. It won some 59 seats, around 10.7 percent of the vote.
Erdogan said the outcome sent a message to Kurdish insurgents in the south east of Turkey, that violence and democracy cannot co-exist. Critics have blamed the government for the surge in violence, suggesting it was an attempt to curb support for the HDP. The government denies the claim.
The nationalist MHP were the big losers of the election. It is predicted they will only take 41 seats – a cut of almost half compared to the June vote. Analysts suggest the AKP swept up many of the seats the MHP lost.
Votes outside Turkey
Some 2.3 million Turks living abroad were entitled to vote. The outcome of their ballots followed a similar trend to those in Turkey. The AKP was slightly more popular abroad, with around 56.2 percent of the votes, as was the HDP, which won approximately 18.2 percent.
Half of Turkish expatriates who are eligible to vote live in Germany. They gave a resounding thumbs up to Davutoglu and the AKP, with 59.7 percent of the votes.
The HDP also fared better in Germany, than it did at home, with 15.9 percent of the votes.