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The Collective
Sunday, July 22, 2007
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the BBC: Votes counted after Turkish poll

Votes are being counted in Turkey after a general election being seen as a crucial test of its secular tradition.

[…]

Some 42 million people were eligible to vote in the poll, while 14 parties are vying for seats in the 550-member parliament.

Voting, which was compulsory, started at 0700 (0400 GMT) in eastern Turkey, and polls opened an hour later in the rest of the country.

All election banners, slogans and party flags were taken down on Saturday night, in accordance with Turkey’s electoral law.

Polling stations closed at 1700 local time (1400 GMT).

And now we wait for the results and the reactions.

What will happen if the AKP (which is a religious-based, Islamic party) retains its majority? What if that majority exceeds the 2/3rd needed to elect the President without interference from the other parties (the issue which led to these early elections in the first place)? How will the pro-secularists react? And, perhaps most important of all, how will the military react?

This also could end up being a case study wherein the the electoral rules do a poor job of reflecting the actual will of the voters in the context of a contentious election that results in a crisis. For details on the problems with Turkey’s electoral system, see here.

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Filed under: Elections, Europe | |

3 Comments

  1. The AKP made a big gain in votes (more than ten percentage points) but lost seats, compared to 2002.

    It still has a large majority in parliament, though not enough to elect a president. However, it looks like it can win a national presidential election. The referendum on amending the constitution to allow such an election will be in October, and I suppose the first direct presidential election could be by the end of the year.

    The AKP appears to have played the recent crisis masterfully.

    Comment by MSS — Sunday, July 22, 2007 @ 2:52 pm

  2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/turkish/indepth/story/2007/07/070719_election_results_en.shtml

    Dr. Taylor,

    I will not attempt to explain my disappointment with the results. May be I am too secular, I do not know.
    The Link is a spatial illustration of the election results by BBC. What strike me was not AKP’s performance. Please look at the votes in South East Turkey. Go along the provinces that borders with Iraq, Iran, Syria, and than go up to north. You will see it is either AKP or BAG (BAG as in BAGIMSIZ, meaning Independent, meaning Kurdish!.

    Serhat.

    Comment by serhat — Monday, July 23, 2007 @ 10:04 am

  3. […] Votes Being Counted in Turkey (and We Wait for the Next Act). […]

    Pingback by Political Mavens » The Elections in Turkey — Monday, July 23, 2007 @ 11:26 am

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