What’s Happening in Turkey?


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Turkey was once the Ottoman Empire, one of the strongest empires the world has seen. Since the end of World War I though, they’ve been Turkey, and until recently, a rather westernized, secular nation. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been claiming more and more special powers though, and blurring the secular governing lines. That is, until this happened:

ANKARA, Turkey — In a stunning blow to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, preliminary results from Turkey’s parliamentary election Sunday suggested that his party could lose its simple majority in Parliament.

With 99 percent of the vote counted, Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party, the AKP, had the support of around 41 percent of voters, according to state-run TRT television. According to projections, that would give it 258 seats — 18 below the minimum needed to keep its majority.

In an indication of how precipitously Erdogan’s fortunes have fallen, he had begun the campaign asking voters for 400 seats, a massive majority that would have allowed the party to change the constitution to give the president extraordinary powers. AKP would have needed a majority of 330 seats of the total 550 to call for a national referendum to change the constitution.

There is no way to call this anything but a defeat for President Erdogan, who now will have to deal with an opposition parliament.

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