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      Turkey: Erdogan Wins with 50% of Vote

      Ruling AKP had 50% of the vote with 98% of ballots counted, but fell short of the majority it sought for changing constitution.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 6/12/2011, 8:04 PM / Last Update: 6/12/2011, 8:02 PM

       

      Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan won a third consecutive term in office in parliamentary elections Sunday.

      The BBC reported Sunday evening that with 98% of ballots counted, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had 50% of the vote, which give it 326 seats in parliament.

      The result is 41 seats short of the two-thirds majority which Erdogan needed in order to make unilateral changes in the country's constitution and call a referendum to approve them.

      The secular Republican People's Party (CHP) had 26% of vote and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), a right wing party, had 13%.

      Erdogan's AKP took power in 2002. In 2007 it received 46.5% of the vote. 
       
      Turkey’s economy has grown impressively under Erdogan and unemployment fell to 11.5% in March from 14.4% a year earlier. 
      Turks also appear pleased with Erdogan’s bellicose policy toward Israel, which included a sparring match with President Shimon Peres, anti-Semitic television shows and support for the Gaza flotilla
       
      The unofficial Israeli boycotts of Turkey as a tourist venue do not seem to have had the effect Israelis had hoped they would, but Israelis have to all effects stopped visiting the once popular vacations spot.