Turkish elections on Sunday returned a majority to the Justice and Development Party (AKP), led by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
AKP is Turkey’s socially conservative party. It claimed nearly 50 percent of the vote, and won 316 seats of the 550-member parliament.
For AKP to gain a majority, 276 seats had to be won.
The Republican People’s Party (CHP) took 25 percent of the vote.
Security was high in Turkey during the election. More than 385,000 police patrolled the streets for the nine hours of voting.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu asked for unity late Sunday. He called for citizens to prepare for “a new Turkey in which politics are normalized.”
Tensions were high before the election. President Erdogan’s government clashed with pro-Kurdish leftists, feminists and nationalist Kurds.
Sunday’s results sparked protests in southeastern Turkey’s mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir. Government security forces fired tear gas at protesters in southeast Turkey. Erdogan responded with a message to the Kurds in the southeast that “violence cannot coexist with democracy.”
The liberal pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) along with the CHP will be seated in the assembly.
The victory came five months after AKP lost its majority in parliament. The party held that majority for more than 10 years.
I'm Mario Ritter.
Jim Dresbach adapted this story for Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.
Words in This Story
feminist – n. someone who believes that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities
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