Turkey: Election Results, Reactions and Hopes

Turkey held its general elections on June 12, 2011. The campaign period for the elections had seen a change in rhetoric in many of the key parties and leaders of Turkish politics.

Election results showed a land-slide victory of 50 per cent of the votes for the Justice and Development Party (“AK Party” or “AKP”) in its third term and a quite different parliamentary distribution that blocks AKP from unilaterally changing the constitution.

Supporters of Turkey's ruling AKP party celebrate with party flags after the first results of the parliamentary election, in Istanbul, Turkey. Image by keremyucel, copyright Demotix (12/06/11).

Supporters of Turkey's ruling AKP party celebrate with party flags after the first results of the parliamentary election, in Istanbul, Turkey. Image by keremyucel, copyright Demotix (12/06/11).

Peace and Democracy Party (“BDP”), a Social Democrat party well known for its focus on Kurdish minority interests won over 30 seats in the parliament, a large success in the history of the party.

Main opposition Republican People's Party (“CHP”) stayed at approximately about 26pc and Nationalist Movement Party (“MHP”) gained approximately about 13pc of the seats. There was a large variety of responses and reactions, to all parties and aspects in social media.

@jamilabayraktar tweeted [tr] about how AKP had managed its third term victory quoting a Turkish analyst, Taha Akyol:

Taha Akyol: “AKP'nin hizmet siyaseti tutmuştur & BDP beklendiği kadar devrim yaratmadı & bundan sonrası için AKP şımarmamalıdır”

Taha Akyol: “AKP’s politics [based] on public service has been popular & BDP has not made a revolution & AKP should not be spoiled for the future to come.”

@lubeayar sharing the “public service” emphasis, tweeted [tr]:

ve.. doğusuyla, batısıyla türkiye halkı ‘siyasi görüşü'nü şöyle ilan etmiştir: mevzubahis ‘hizmet’ ise gerisi teferruattır..

and.. from the East, from the West people of Turkey has declared its ‘political view’ as: if the topic is ‘public service’ the rest is [just] detail..

@nibenka, critically emphasising AKP’s stance of not appointing any hijabi MP candidates, tweeted [tr]:

Hizmet kazandi, is kazandi dogru ama ‘sus otur sirani bekle’ de kazandi; bunu gormezden gelemiyorum maalesef

Public service won, [public] work won but ‘stay silent and wait for your turn’ also won; I cannot ignore this unfortunately.

@berxwedaan emphasises about the success of BDP, tweeting [tr]:

akp/rte %50 oy almıs olması aslında kesin bir başarı olarak degerlendirilmeli ama seçimin mutlak galibinn bdp/blok oldugu gözardı edilmemeli

akp/rte [i.e. Recep Tayyip Erdogan] receiving 50% vote should be taken as a certain success but it should not be ignored that the absolute winner is bdp/blok [i.e. BDP and its independent ‘Bloc’ candidates]

@oemoral also stresses the roles of the new MPs from the Social Democrat BDP, tweeting:

In brief: #Turkey shall benefit greatly with 36 socialist/democratic MP's in parliament. Freedom will occupy some seats there finally

Blogger Aengus Collins analysed the election results focusing critically on CHP and partly on AKP, writing:

Securing 26 per cent does not feel like the result of a party that the electorate will trust with power any time soon. Moreover, the additional votes that the CHP won were cheap votes taken from smaller parties that faded in significance in this election. The CHP needed to begin the process of eating away at the AKP’s vote. It didn’t.

While a vocal, substantial and growing minority in Turkey worry deeply about the direction in which the AKP wants to take the country, this election proves once again that a greater number of Turks do not share these fears. That is the reality of political life in Turkey, and much though it may pain them, it is a reality to which the opposition parties will need to reconcile themselves if they are to get back into the business of winning elections.

ErhanErkut on the other hand found CHP's results successful and commented in general as:

CHP +%5 basari. 35 Bagimsiz iyi bir sonuc. Diger partiler silindi. Daha birkac secim 4 partili parlamento cikar herhalde. Baraj dusmeli.

CHP +5% success. 35 Independents is a good result. Other parties are erased. Next few elections there will be a parliament of 4 parties probably. [Parliamentary inclusion vote] threshold should fall.

@yavuzbaydar comments on how AKP should consider the results:

The voters send a clever message again: They told AK to go on alone as a single engine, as they asked it to seek consensus in parliament.

Other topics discussed a lot in the social media were the question of a new constitution based on the election results, new MPs and speeches made by main opposition leader Kılıçdaroğlu of CHP and current Prime Minister Erdogan of AKP.

@CorrodaDynamite mentions the first Syriac MP of the Turkish Parliament:

#Turkey's 1st #Syriac MP Erol Dora from #Mardin (#BDPcandidate): “it is important for co-existence of people together”

@cigdemmater comments [tr] about the youngest MP:

meclisin en genc vekili 1984 dogumlu, istanbulda akp vekiliymis, bilalmacit, 27 yasinda, sahane.

the youngest MP of the parliament was born in 1984, is an AKP MP from Istanbul, Bilal Macit, 27 years old, amazing.

@nhacizade summarises the speech of main opposition leader Kılıçdaroğlu of CHP in her tweet:

Turkey's main opposition leader: CHP still successful/3.5 m new voters + will go on reforming itself + will follow up w/new constitution.

@cemilertem summarises [tr] the speech of AKP’s Erdogan, tweeting:

Başbakan'ın söylediklernin özeti:Yeni Anayasa olacak;ama buanayasa aynı zamanda bölgdeki tüm ülkelere de yol gösterecek;biz bölge lideriyiz

Summary of Prime Minister’s comments: New Constitution will be there; but this constitution will also guide all countries in the region; we are the regional leader

@dalalmawad tweets about drafting of the new constitution:

#AKP will now need the help of other parties to amend constitution in #turkey including pro-kurdish MPs

@kaplanfat also comments [tr] on the prospect of a new constitution based on election results:

AKP ve BDP,bu ülke halklarının mutluluğu için uzlaşmak,barışmak,yeni anayasa yapmak zorundalar,üzerlerinde vebal var,ona göre davransınlar

AKP and BDP, for the happiness of peoples of this country, for reconciliation, making peace, must draft a new constitution, they have a responsibility, they should act accordingly

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