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Turkish Backlash: Before, During and After the Vote

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This weekend’s elections in Turkey, which resulted in no party securing enough votes to form a government, have been touted as a significant moment in Turkish democracy. The vote saw the rise of minor and ethnic minority-based groups triggering demonstrations across the country.

“Our nation’s opinion is above everything else,” Recap Tayyip Erdogan has said in his first statement following the surprise election result ending Erdogan’s decade long period of governance.

Calling for cooperation between the countries major parties, Erdogan urged leaders to be “careful to preserve the environment of confidence and stability”.

Erdogan’s AKP party remains in front with 41 percent, followed by the Republican People’s Party (CHP) on 25 percent, the right-wing Nationalist Movement Party on 16.5 percent and the Kurdish-backed HDP securing 13 percent of the vote.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on all political parties to show responsibility in the “new process” following the parliamentary polls that made his former party lose its single-party government.

Sunday’s outcome augurs long calculations to form a coalition government within 45 days and an early election will be called if political parties fail.

All three opposition parties in the parliament said that they would not enter into a coalition with the Justice and Development Party (AK party), which is now led by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, after Erdogan took over the constitutionally neutral presidential seat.

The president is set to meet Davutoglu later on Monday.

Erdogan had unofficially campaigned for his former party to get two-thirds majority in the polls in order to change the constitution and create a new presidential republic to replace the parliamentary system.

However, the AK party, which governed the country alone for the last 13 years, failed even to achieve a simple majority, although it remained the biggest party.

Erdogan’s first remarks after the polls remained strictly presidential in line with the seat’s customs.

He acknowledged that the AK party 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.

“Political forces [should] show responsible behaviour and the necessary sensitivity to preserve the atmosphere of stability and confidence in our country and our democratic achievements,” he said. “Our nation’s will is above everything.”

HDP factor

The AK party won 41 percent of the vote, followed by the centre-left Republican People’s Party (CHP) on 25 percent, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on 16.5 percent and the pro-Kurdish left-wing People’s Democracy Party (HDP) on 13 percent.

With this result, the AK party will have 258 seats in the 550-seat parliament, with the CHP getting 132, and the MHP and HDP securing 80 apiece. A coalition with more than 275 seats will form a government.