Turkey To Return To Single-Party Rule After Sweeping Election Victory – Huffington Post
Investors and Western allies hoped the vote would help restore stability and confidence in an $800 billion economy, allowing Ankara to play a more effective role in stemming a flood of refugees from neighboring wars via Turkey into Europe and helping in the battle against Islamic State militants.
But in strengthening Erdogan, whose crackdowns on media freedoms and tightening grip on the judiciary have alarmed European leaders, the outcome is likely to mean relations with the West will remain strained.
Erdogan and the AKP have been a fierce critics, for example, of U.S. support for Kurdish militia fighters battling Islamic State (IS) in neighboring Syria.
“This (result) makes more difficult a strategy of using the Kurds against IS because AKP appeals to anti-Kurd sentiments,” said Bruce Riedel, a former CIA analyst and sometime policy advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama.
TRT’s partial results said the nationalist MHP opposition stood at 12 percent.
The HDP, which scaled back its election campaign after its supporters were targeted in the Ankara suicide bomb attack that killed more than 100 people on Oct. 10, was on 10.3 percent.
“SIMPLY A DISASTER”
This time, there were few of the flags, posters and campaign buses that thronged the streets in the build-up to June’s vote.
“It is obvious in today’s election how beneficial stability is for our nation and today our citizens will make their choice based on this,” Erdogan told reporters after voting in his home district of Camlica on the Asian side of Istanbul.
The election was prompted by the AKP’s inability to find a junior coalition partner after the June outcome. Erdogan’s critics said it represented a gamble by the combative leader to win back enough support so the party can eventually change the constitution and give him greater presidential powers.
It is a gamble that appears to have paid off.
“Turkey lost considerable ground in economy, politics and terror during this period, and gains were lost. Voters appeared to want to bring back stability once again,” a third AKP official said.
Some Western allies, foreign investors and Turks had seen an AKP coalition with the CHP as the best hope of easing sharp divisions in the EU-candidate nation, hoping it might keep Erdogan’s authoritarian instincts in check.
A senior official from the CHP, which had been preparing itself for potential coalition talks, said the result was “simply a disaster”.