Turkey: Islamist AKP party wins landslide victory

After briefly losing parliamentary majority for first time in 13 years, Erdogan's party is back on top with surprise victory.

Ari Soffer ,

AKP supporters celebrate election victory
AKP supporters celebrate election victory

The Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has clinched a crucial victory in Turkey's re-run general elections, winning a majority in the Turkish parliament again after briefly losing it in June for the first time in 13 years.

The summer elections set off a political crisis, with the AKP proving unable to form a coalition with other parties, eventually forcing new elections to be called.

With more than 99.5% of votes counted, AKP has secured 49.4%, with the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) coming in at a distant second with 25.4%, according to Turkish media.

The secular-nationalist Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) took 11.9%, while the Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) once again crossed the 10% threshold by a narrow margin, with 10.7%.

AKP Prime Minister Ahmet Davutogluhailed the results as a "victory day for democracy."

"This victory is not ours but that of our nation and our citizens," Davutoglu said in a speech to supporters in his hometown of Konya, hours after preliminary result emerged showing an AKP victory according to Anadolu news agency.

Later, at a victory celebration in the capital Ankara, he offered an olive branch to political opponents.

"Do not be provoked," he told supporters. "Today, you will greet your neighbors and you will embrace your brothers more than ever. You will not be provoked."

President Erdogan said voters had "given proof of their strong desire for the unity and integrity" and urged the world to accept the results of the poll.

The results give AKP an overall majority, but not enough votes to force a referendum on crucial changes to the Turkish constitution which opponents have argued would cement a virtual autocracy with Erdogan at its head.

The AKP victory - which polls failed to predict - will likely mean a continued crackdown on political dissent, with journalists and opposition activists regularly arrested for political crimes.