After Turkey’s June general election ended in a split parliament and no majority, a second vote was held today across the nation, and this time the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) managed just shy of 50% of the popular vote, sufficient for a significant majority of the parliament and continued rule without a coalition.
The preliminary count in the 550 seat parliament is AKP with 316, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) with 134, the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) with 59, and the Nationalist Movement (MHP), the overtly anti-Kurdish party, with just 41. In June the result was 258, 132, 80, and 80.
The resumption of the war against the Kurdish PKK militia was likely a big reason for this shift, as it fueled anti-Kurdish sentiment and gained the AKP a lot of nationalist votes. The HDP accused the Erdogan government of “deliberate polarization” in the vote, dubbing the results a “disaster.”
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu indicated that the AKP would move on with efforts to write a new constitution after having secured the majority win, and President Erdogan has indicated he would like to see dramatic increases in power granted to the presidency.
The AKP was founded in 2001 by President Erdogan as a religious, right-wing party, in stark contrast to the secular parties that have historically dominated Turkey. The party has won every single election in Turkey since.