Turkey’s governing party swept to an historic landslide election win on June 12, but failed to gain enough parliamentary seats to rewrite the constitution without help from its opponents.
Victory for the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has made Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan the first Turkish premier since 1957 to win a third consecutive term. The ruling party defied expectations by increasing its share of the total vote to 49.9 percent, and gaining around 5 million new voters.
“It’s indisputable,” commented leading political analyst Soli Ozel. “This is a hell of a victory for the ruling party.”
But the result left almost all the main parties with cause for both celebration and commiseration.
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), rejuvenated under the leadership of Kemal Kilicdaroglu, won 25.9 percent of the vote; a five-percent increase on its 2007 performance, but still lower than some had hoped. It gained 23 new parliamentary seats.
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Alexander Christie-Miller is a freelance journalist based in Istanbul.