Turkey’s ruling AK Party looks on track to win back its parliamentary majority and form a government alone, according to partial results from Sunday’s election broadcast by state-run TRT television.
With almost two thirds of the votes counted, the AKP had taken 51.9 per cent of the vote, TRT said. The main opposition CHP was on 22.5 per cent, while the nationalist MHP was on 11.4 and pro-Kurdish HDP on 10.5 per cent, just above the 10 percent threshold needed to enter parliament, TRT said. The results could still change significantly, with counting not yet completed in some of the largest cities.
The elections is the most crucial in years, with the country deeply divided in the face of surging Kurdish and Islamic violence and worries about democracy and the faltering economy.
The poll is the second in just five months, called after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) was stripped of its parliamentary majority in June for the first time in 13 years and failed to forge a coalition government.
The political landscape has changed dramatically in Turkey since June, with the country even more polarised on ethnic and sectarian lines.
‘All I want is peace’
Turks are fearful of a return to all-out war with outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) rebels after fresh violence shattered a 2013 truce in July, just a month after a pro-Kurdish party won seats in parliament for the first time, denying the AKP a majority.
The threat of further jihadist violence is also overshadowing the poll after a string of attacks blamed on the Islamic State group, including twin suicide bombings on an Ankara peace rally last month that killed 102 people — the worst in Turkey’s modern history.
“All I want is peace and brotherhood, we have suffered too much lately,” said 43-year-old voter Kiziltoprak Mahmut in the main Kurdish city of Diyarbakir.