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In June 2015 elections the AKP failed to win an outright majority for the first time since taking power in 2002.. Since the June election, Turkey has been beset by terror, with a bomb attack targeting a peace rally in Ankara earlier this month leaving more than 100 dead, and a suicide bomber in Suruç, a town near the Syrian border, killing at least 30 people in July.
Although it has not played a central role in the campaign, there is also the refugee crisis. With some two million refugees in the country currently, Turkey has been negotiating a deal with the EU in order to receive financial support to secure its borders and sustain the handling of its end of the crisis.
Other issues remain a slowing economy – over the past five years, economic growth has fallen from above 10% to 3% and GDP per capita has not grown since 2007 – as well as Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian tendencies and divisiveness, which are still at the forefront of voters’ minds.
The government is also once again at war with the outlawed Kurdish nationalist PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ party), which has put a break on peace talks that had been underway since 2012.
CHP President Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s press meeting on the elections:
Turkey’s Republican People’s Party (CHP), which had entertained hopes of making gains through a constructive election campaign, failed to increase its votes significantly in the Nov. 1 polls, remaining the country’s main opposition party.
The leader of the social democrat party, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, said late on Nov. 1 after the annoucement of the initial results that the responsibility on the party’s shoulders had incerased.
The country faced a second election under extraordinary conditions between the June 7 election and the reelection on Nov. 1.
“Some 400 people died in this period,” he said. “This should be evaluated very carefully.”
Responding to question on whether he would resign, Kılıçdaroğlu said the executive bodies of the party would decide on the matter, praising the CHP for “bringing democracy to the country.”
A senior official from the party told Reuters while the votes were being counted that there was no likelihood of a coalition government.
The party, which succeeded in becoming the first party in just six provinces out of 81 across the country, won 135 of 550 seats, according to initial results.
The CHP won 131 seats with a little less than 25 percent of the votes in the June 7 elections that resulted in a re-election after no parties were able to form a one-party or coalition government. The party increased its votes in Istanbul, the largest city in the country, by two points to 30 percent but still won only 28 MPs, the same number as the election five months ago. The party ran its campaign on economic promises. (Hurriyet Daily News)
The number of female deputies representing the four political parties in the Turkish parliament has dropped from a record number of 95 to 81, the unofficial results of the Nov. 1 snap elections have revealed.
Accordingly, some 21 seats occupied by female deputies from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) will still be held by women when the 26th term of parliament opens following the announcement of the official results by the Supreme Election Board (YSK).
Yet, the other three parties will have less female deputies when compared to the 25th term of parliament, which opened after the June 7 parliamentary elections and served for only five months.
The Justice and Development Party (AKP), which managed to win a landslide victory sufficient to form a single-party government, will have 34 women lawmakers, while this number was 40 after June 7. The number of women deputies from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) dropped from 30 to 23, while the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has again come up with the least number of women deputies, with a decrease from four to three. (Hurriyet Daily News)
Turkey election: OSCE says ‘serious concerns’ over vote
European observers have said violence marred the run-up to polls in Turkey in which the Justice and Development Party (AKP) regained its majority.
The OSCE said that an increase in violence, particularly in the south-east, “restricted some contestants’ ability to campaign freely”.
It also criticised curbs on media freedom.
Turkish election campaign was unfair
Earlier Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the world to respect the result of Sunday’s election.
Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) went further and denounced the entire process as “unfair”.
In a statement on Monday, Ignacio Sanchez Amor, head of the OSCE observer mission, said: “Physical attacks on party members, as well as the significant security concerns, particularly in the south-east” had affected campaigning.
He added that pressure on journalists – including a police raid on the Koza-Ipek media group in Istanbul last week – was a major concern.
“Unfortunately, the campaign for these elections was characterized by unfairness and, to a serious degree, fear,” said Andreas Gross, Head of the PACE delegation.
Responding to reports of pressure on journalists, the White House spokesman John Earnest said the US had urged Turkey “to uphold universal democratic values.”
By BBC Monitoring