Today is one of the most important days in modern Turkish history. For over a decade, the ruling Islamist party, AKP, had been running the country with increasing authoritarianism. The rule of law has broken down. The economy is going down the drain, and the press has lost its freedom completely. Today, citizens of Turkey went to the polls and they gave AKP a smack on the face.
So far over 95% of the vote has been counted. Compared to the last general election, the ruling party has lost nearly 10% of its support. The Kurdish minority party, HDP, has past the parliamentary barrier of 10% and entered the parliament, contrary to what most polls had predicted. Thanks to the new HDP seats, AKP will at best form a minority government or more likely take part in a coalition.
If HDP had not entered the Turkish parliament, nothing could have changed. AKP would have pushed for transition to a presidential democracy via referendum. Now, President Erdogan’s goal of controlling the government “lawfully'” is nothing but a childish hope.
Turkey’s future remains uncertain. Will the nationalists of MHP form a coalition with AKP? Or will they join forces with the republican CHP? Will Erdogan insist on a presidential democracy and push the country towards a snap election? The answers will present themselves in the upcoming weeks. However, at this very moment, one thing is certain. The ultimate victor is Turkish democracy.
P.S: All party representatives and volunteers who monitored the election are to be commended. This could not have been a clean election without their efforts.