Ruling party retains power in Turkey with landslide
Gulf News Report
Published: July 23, 2007, 00:13
Dubai: Turkey's ruling AK Party captured 48.1 per cent of the vote in a national election yesterday after two thirds of votes had been counted, CNN Turk television reported.
Two other parties crossed the country's high national threshold of 10 per cent to enter parliament.
The centre-left Republican People's Party (CHP) won 19.4 per cent and the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) took 14.7 per cent, said the private broadcaster quoting partial returns.
"It is clear that we will be in power alone and that Turkey's stability will continue," a senior official of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, Salih Kapusuz, told Reuters.
Seventeen people were hurt yesterday in poll-related violence in Turkey as the country held legislative elections, pitting the Islamist-rooted government against the secular opposition.
Opinion polls show the Islamist-rooted AK Party winning a fresh five-year mandate but strong gains by the nationalist and secularist opposition parties could slash its majority and result in slower economic and political reforms.
"Our democracy will emerge from this election strengthened," Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said as he and his wife Emine cast ballots in Uskudar constituency in Istanbul.
Many Turks postponed their holidays or returned home early to vote. Voting is compulsory in Turkey.