Turkey’s long-dominant Justice and Development party (AKP)led by Ahmet Davutoglu has swept back to power with an unexpected victory in national elections on Sunday returning the country to single-party rule and reinforcing the power of president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
In the stunning comeback, the AK party secured about 49.4 per cent of the votes, almost half of all the votes counted, gaining 316 seats in the 550-seat parliament thus regaining its majority. The election is deemed crucial for the future of trouble-hit Turkey where the security situation is deteriorating. Erdogan’s party had lost the parliamentary majority it had held for 13 years in the polls last June unable to form a coalition government. The main opposition, the centre-left Republican People's Party (CHP) secured only 25.4 per cent of votes. AKP’s victory regaining its position comes as the political analysts and the hung parliament were anticipating the end of Erdogan’s era. The victory is unexpected for the party followers as well with 5-8 per cent more votes cast in the favour of AKP. Even though the polls have reinforced Erdogan’s position and power, the party didn’t gain as much majority as to accomplish the dream of a civilian constitution and presidential democracy. The constitutional amendment would be possible only if the 330 seats are won singlehandedly. Turkey has been plagued by violence and death of innocent civilians due to the terrorist attacks from the Kurdish militants, Islamic State insurgents and the war in neighbouring Syria. The poll results plainly establish the people’s realization of the importance of a stable and powerful government to rule the country. Despite the two terrorist attacks on the country and losing the support from the world of political media inside and outside Turkey, it was the boundless faith in Erdogan and his party that realized the nation’s comeback to single-party rule.
Even the political opponents had admitted that Erdogan was able to transform Turkey into an unbeatable political power dominating the Middle East in 13 years of its dominance. But the recent changing political consensus in West Asia had isolated Turkey. The attempts to make peace with the Kurds failed and Kurdistan Workers Party or the rebel group of PKK formed a militant organization and launched armed attacks against the Turkish government thereby turning into the country’s internal foes. With the rising threats due to the conflicts in the neighbouring Iraq and Syria, Turkey was compelled to take a strong stand on the matter. Joining the war against the Islamic State insurgency in Syria also increased the enemies outside the country. The secular terrorists entered the scene with campaign-war at the international level. The crisis that hit Turkey aggravated with the party’s loss of parliamentary majority in the polls last June. The loss of stability of the ruling government led to a dip in the economy and the value of Turkey currency went down. The Kurdish militants and IS terrorists, taking advantage of the situation, continued to launch attacks. Turkey witnessed one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in recent history that killed 102 people and injured 250 when the elections were just around the corner. End of Erdogan’s era was therefore predicted by everyone including newspapers like the Hurriyet, channels like CNN Turk, the western media as well as that under the control of Fethullah Gulen. The political opponents also made attempts to split the party. Erdogan’s unexpected victory comes amidst all these combined attempts to destroy his powerful presence and the party. He critisised the global media and their supporters for not showing the required maturity to recognize the plebiscite in the elections. The rising anxieties over the instability and chaos in Turkey has now been wiped away by the strong determination of its citizens to regain their once powerful country providing assurances not just to the nation but to the region as well.