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

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
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.

All About America

AppleAndroid