News / Europe

Turkey's Triumphant Erdogan Promises Compromise With Opposition

Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, with a portrait of modern Turkey's founder Ataturk in the background, watches TV at his office at the AK Party headquarters in Ankara, Turkey, June 13, 2011
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, with a portrait of modern Turkey's founder Ataturk in the background, watches TV at his office at the AK Party headquarters in Ankara, Turkey, June 13, 2011

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party will have an unprecedented third term after winning a decisive victory in Sunday's parliamentary elections.

However, the ruling party failed to win the two-thirds majority needed to carry out constitutional reforms, forcing Erdogan to seek support from other political parties. He has vowed to reach out to the opposition, saying the vote result shows the new constitution will be achieved by compromise.

The prime minister has promised to amend the constitution, written in 1982 when Turkey was under military rule.  

In the 550-seat parliament, the ruling party won 49.9 percent of the vote, or 326 seats. That's the most since it came to power 10 years ago, but short of the 330 needed to call a referendum. The main opposition Republican People's Party garnered 25.9 percent of the vote, or 135 seats, and the Nationalist Action Party won 13 percent of the vote, or 53 seats.

The pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party also did well in Sunday's vote, increasing the party's seats from 20 to 36. Analysts say the pro-Kurdish party's strong showing played a role in denying the ruling party a bigger win.

It is not clear what changes the prime minister plans to make. Turkey and Erdogan's government often are cited as a model for supporters of democracy in the Middle East and North Africa. But political opponents have said they believe Erdogan is becoming more autocratic, less tolerant of the opposition, and is moving Turkey away from a secular state to a more Islamic-style government.

His backers say the amended constitution would guarantee more rights for minorities, including Kurds. Observers say Kurdish support could be crucial in drafting the new constitution, which Kurdish leaders say should recognize the Kurds as a distinct element of the nation, and should grant them autonomy.

The Kurds had threatened to boycott Sunday's vote after Turkey's main election board announced plans to ban seven Kurdish candidates from running. That decision was later reversed. The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, has been fighting for an ethnic homeland since 1984. That fighting has killed about 40,000 people. Turkey, the United States and the European Union consider the PKK a terrorist group.

Although Sunday's vote was peaceful, the Anatolia news agency reported police arrested 34 people in the mainly Kurdish southeastern province of Batman for allegedly trying to coerce people into supporting Kurdish nationalists running as independents.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid