Turkey Returns to Single Party Rule after AKP Surprise Win

Mon Nov 2, 2015 12:42:36

Turkey's Justice and Development Party (AKP) scored a electoral comeback on Sunday, regaining its parliamentary majority in a poll seen as pivotal for the future of the troubled country.

The party founded by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won 49.4 percent of the vote to secure 316 seats in the 550-member parliament with nearly all votes counted, easily enough to form a government on its own.

"Today is a day of victory," a beaming Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a crowd of jubilant supporters in his hometown.

He appealed for unity in the country, destabilised by renewed Kurdish oppositions and violence’s , bloody terrorist attacks and facing escalating concerns about the faltering economy and what critics say is Erdogan's authoritarian rule.

"The outcome was a shock to many as opinion polls had predicted a replay of the June election when the AKP won only 40 percent of the vote and lost its majority for the first time in 13 years."

"Today there are no losers but winners," he said. "We are coming to rebuild a new Turkey along with each and every citizen." 

The result is a huge personal victory for 61-year-old Erdogan, Turkey's divisive strongman who may now be able to secure enough support for his controversial ambitions to expand his role into a powerful US-style executive presidency.


Protests turn violent in Diyarbakir

AKP supporters took to the streets to celebrate in Ankara, but there was some unrest in the mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir.

Demonstrators set off fireworks and threw stones outside the headquarters of the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party, where police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse the crowds.