ISTANBUL, Nov 2 – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday the nation had voted for stability in a parliamentary election that saw the AK Party he founded win almost 50 percent of the vote, and said the world should respect the result.
The Islamist-rooted AKP swept to an unexpected landslide victory on Sunday, returning Turkey to single-party rule in an outcome that will boost Erdogan’s power but may deepen social divisions.
“The national will manifested itself on Nov. 1 in favour of stability,” Erdogan said in comments to reporters after praying at a mosque in Istanbul.
“Let’s be as one, be brothers and all be Turkey together.”
But in characteristically pugnacious form, he also attacked the global media and its criticism of him.
“Is this your understanding of democracy?” he said. “Now a party with some 50 percent in Turkey has attained power… This should be respected by the whole world, but I have not seen such maturity.”
The AKP took just shy of 50 percent of the votes on Sunday, initial results showed, comfortably enough to control about 316 of the 550 seats in parliament and a far higher margin of victory than even party insiders had expected.
Erdogan said earlier the outcome was also a message to Kurdish insurgents in the restive southeast that violence could not coexist with democracy.
Security forces have been battling militants of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the country’s predominantly Kurdish southeast in a renewed surge in violence since a ceasefire collapsed in July.
(Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by David Dolan, Robert Birsel)