Turkey facing turbulence after Erdogan poll blow

By Stuart Williams ,AFP

By Stuart Williams ISTANBUL — Turkey on Monday entered a new period of political and financial turbulence after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party lost its absolute majority in parliament for the first time since coming to power in 2002. The uncertainty swiftly rattled financial markets, with stocks tumbling in morning trade and the Turkish lira plummeting in value against the U.S. dollar. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) has dominated Turkish politics for the last 13 years but came up well short of a majority of seats in Sunday’s legislative elections due to a breakthrough showing by the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP). A coalition government and early elections are both now possibilities, in a situation unprecedented since the Islamic-rooted AKP swept to power. The results wrecked the ambition of Erdogan �X prime minister from 2003 to 2014 and now president �X of agreeing a new constitution to switch Turkey from a parliamentary to a presidential system. Such a change would have required a two-thirds majority in parliament. Just months before the election, Erdogan had been targeting 400 seats for the AKP. However Erdogan’s statement remained strictly presidential, in contrast to his hugely partisan behaviour on behalf of the AKP in the campaign.

In his first reaction to the result, Erdogan acknowledged that the AKP would not be able to govern alone and urged Turkey’s political forces to show responsibility in ��a new process.�� ��According to the available results, no party will be able to govern alone,�� he said in a statement released by the presidency that hailed the conduct of the elections. ��Political forces (should) show responsible behavior and the necessary sensitivity to preserve the atmosphere of stability and confidence in our country and our democratic achievements,�� he said.