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Turkey - Politics

Party Seats Won%
Justice and Development Party
( AKP Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi)
Republican People's Party
(CHP Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi)
Nationalist Movement Party
(MHP Milliyeti Hareket Partisi)
Independents 35 2,819,9176.57%
Felicity Party 543,4541.27%
People's Voice Party 329,7230.77%
Great Union Party 323,2510.75%
Democrat Party
(DP Demokrat Parti)
Rights and Equality Party 124,4150.29%
Democratic Left Party 108,0890.25%
Communist Party of Turkey 64,0060.15%
Nation Party 60,7160.14%
Nationalist and Conservative Party 36,1880.08%
Labour Party 32,1280.07%
Liberal Democratic Party 15,222 0.04%
Nationwide local elections for provincial general assembly, municipal assembly, and mayoral positions were held March 29, 2009. AKP received 38.39% of the votes in provincial general assemblies and a similar percentage in municipal assemblies. CHP and MHP followed AKP with 23% and 15% respectively. AKP won 10 of 16 metropolitan municipality mayoralties. Though AKP won the elections, party leaders had hoped for a larger percentage of the vote. Prime Minister Erdogan reshuffled his cabinet on May 1, 2009.

In the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (Turkiye Buyuk Millet Meclisi) 550 members are elected through a closed-list proportional representation system to serve 4-year terms. There are 79 multi-member districts corresponding to the provinces. Each party must clear a national threshold of 10 percent and at least one D'Hondt quotient in the district from which it is elected. Additionally, a candidate may be seated only if his party is organized in one-third of districts within each of half of the provinces, and has nominated two candidates for each seat in at least half of provinces.

Voters in Turkey went to the polls June 12, 2011, and with the country enjoying record economic growth the prime minister won a third term in office by a comfortable majority. Opinion polls pointing to a comfortable victory for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party. With economic growth at nearly nine percent Erdogan was standing a for third term on his economic record. Since he came to power in 2002, Turkey was transformed from the sick man of Europe to economic tiger. Erdogan was seeking a two-thirds parliament majority, so he can replace the country's 1982 constitution that was written by Turkey's then military rulers.

The main opposition, the secular People's Republican Party, said that was too much power. Under new leadership the opposition party had rejuvenated itself, from a pro-state party, to a center-left modern social democratic party. The party, known as CHP, fought the election on a platform of social reform and democracy, accusing the prime minister of increasing authoritarianism, as well as raising concerns about the ruling party's Islamic roots.

The Justice and Development Party/ Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi (AKP) received 21,399,082 votes, 49.83% of the valid votes cast, winning 327 seats in the 550 seat unicameral Grand National Assembly of Turkey (Turkiye Buyuk Millet Meclisi), short of the 366 seats needed for a two-thirds majority. The Republican People's Party/ Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi (CHP) received 11,155,972 votes [25.98%], winning 135 seats, the Nationalist Movement Party/ Milliyeti Hareket Partisi (MHP) received 5,585,513 votes [13.01%], winning 53 seats, while various Independents gained 2,819,917 votes [6.57%] for 35 seats. A number of other parties did not receive enough votes to get seats.

The prime minister fell more than 40 seats short of his declared goal of a two-thirds parliamentary majority, which was needed to replace the 1982 constitution, written by Turkey's then military rulers. A new constitution was a key electoral pledge. But there was growing concern both in and outside Turkey that if Mr. Erdogan achieved that goal, he would have had too much power. Erdogan even failed to secure the 330 seats needed to submit constitutional reforms to a referendum.

Erdogan did not realize his goal largely because candidates supported by the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy party defeated candidates from the prime minister's party. The pro-Kurdish party increased its representation from 20 to more than 30 seats. The election served to underline the increasing power of Turkey's Kurdish rights movement. The Kurdish rights issue was predicted to be one of most important and contentious aspects of any new constitution. While the prime minister still has a massive parliamentary majority of more than 100 seats, he would have to seek support from at least another party to pass a new constitution.

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Page last modified: 15-07-2016 19:24:10 ZULU