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Erdogan Calls On Turkish Parties To Behave Responsibly

  • RFE/RL

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Turkey’s political forces to behave responsibly to preserve an "atmosphere of stability and confidence" in the country.

Erdogan made the call on June 8 after general elections denied his Justice and Development Party (AKP) a majority government for the first time in 13 years.

With nearly all the votes counted from the June 7 elections, the AKP won 41 percent, down from 2011 when it secured almost half of the vote.

That would give AKP 258 seats in the 550-seat parliament, 18 fewer than it requires to maintain a single-party government.

No party has yet indicated it is willing to join a coalition with the AKP.

The results are seen as a defeat for AKP, which had been hoping to secure enough support in the elections to amend the constitution to bolster the power of the president.

Turkish shares lost more than 6 percent in opening trading on June 8, while the Turkish lira lost more than 4 percent to a record low against the dollar.

The main Kurdish party, HDP, crossed the 10 percent threshold, securing seats in parliament for the first time.

Turkey's Election: Why It Was All About Erdogan

The vote came amid high tensions after bombings on June 5 during a HDP rally killed two people and wounded scores.

On June 7, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said a suspect had been detained in the case, but provided no other details.

Davutoglu was defiant following the ballot, saying that AKP was the clear winner in the election and vowing to take any necessary measures to ensure political stability in Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan holds his vote for Turkey's general elections at a polling station in Istanbul on June 7.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan holds his vote for Turkey's general elections at a polling station in Istanbul on June 7.

"Everyone should see that the AKP is the winner and leader of these elections," Davutoglu told supporters in a speech from the balcony of the party’s headquarters in Ankara. "No one should try to build a victory from an election they lost."

The pro-Kurdish HDP, meanwhile, said it would not form coalitions with Erdogan's party.

"As we have already said, we will not form a coalition with the AKP. The HDP has become a real political party in Turkey. The AKP has lost Turkey's eastern provinces because of its statements on the Kurdish settlement," HDP leader Selahattin Demirtas said.

In the mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir, in southeastern Turkey, massive celebrations erupted on the streets, where people set off fireworks, danced, and shouted anti-Erdogan slogans while waving Kurdish flags.

Demirtas told a news conference in Istanbul that with the results of the election, "the discussion of an executive presidency and dictatorship have come to an end in Turkey."

He described the outcome as a victory "for those who want a pluralist and civil new constitution."

The right-wing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) garnered around 16 percent of the vote.

The party had long been seen as the most likely candidate to partner with AKP in a coalition. But MHP leader Devlet Bahceli appeared to rule out such a deal, saying a new election should be held if AKP cannot secure a coalition with other opposition parties.

"The first possibility...should be between AKP and HDP," Bahceli said. "The second model can consist of AKP, CHP, and HDP. If all these scenarios fail, then early elections must be held."

Turkey's lira weakened to an all-time low and stocks plunged on political uncertainty following the elections.

The Turkish currency fell as much as 5.2 percent against the dollar and the benchmark stock index sank 8.2 percent after the Istanbul stock exchange opened on June 8.

Turkey’s central bank acted quickly to prop up the lira by cutting the interest rate on foreign currency deposits.

With reporting by AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa, and TASS
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