Turkey’s Ruling AKP Loses Majority in Parliament, HDP Receives 13 Percent of Votes
ISTANBUL, Turkey (A.W.)—About 86 percent of around 53 million eligible voters cast their ballots and elected 550 members to Turkey’s Parliament on June 7, among them Armenians Garapet (Garo) Paylan, who ran on the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) list; Markar Esayan from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP); and Selina Özuzun Doğan from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), reported Turkish media.
AKP garnered around 41 percent of the votes (258 seats) in the parliamentary elections, based on data released by the state-run TRT. HDP broke the 10 percent barrier and received around 13 percent of the votes, gaining 80 seats in parliament, while CHP earned 25 percent (132 seats) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) 16 percent (80 seats).
As the results trickled in and it became clear that HDP had earned more than 10 percent of the votes, party co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş told journalists gathered at the Istanbul offices of the HDP that the party now truly belonged to all of Turkey.
Among HDP’s other Armenian candidates were Murad Mihçi and Filor Uluk Benli. HDP candidates also included Yezidis and Assyrians alongside Kurds. Moreover, 268 female candidates ran on the HDP list—the highest number among the political parties running for election.
HDP faired especially well in the southeast of the country. In the provinces of Diyarbakir, Mardin, Batman, Van, and Hakkari, the party received over 70 percent of the votes.
The AKP needed 367 seats in order to introduce the “new constitution,” an objective President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had talked about on many occasions. The new constitution would have turned Turkey from a parliamentary system into an executive presidency, giving the president more powers. The AKP’s support was down from the 50 percent (327 seats) it received in the 2011 elections.