Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Turkey's Justice and Development Party is Victorious

The AKP (grey) is the party of the people right now. The CHP (blue) has the backing of European-minded Turks and the army. Kurdish independents (red) have entered the political process. Map from Wikipedia.

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) is victorious in the 2007 Turkish general election. The AKP won about forty-seven percent of the vote compared to the twenty percent of the Republican People's Party (CHP). Due to Turkey's election laws the AKP and CHP have lost seats even though they received more votes than they did in 2002.

Another major winner in the election is the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). The party earned 70 seats in central Turkey along the ethnic Turk/Kurd border. The MHP is an ultra-nationalist Turkish party. Its primary platform deals with crushing Kurdish terrorism both in Turkey and northern Iraq.

In the east Kurdish politicians have managed to pull off victories.

The main thing to be seen is who the AKP head and Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan nominates for the president. AKP has a Islamic agenda which starkly contrasts with modern Turkey's political tradition. Erdoğan is currently negitoating with the secular CHP in an attempt to avoid gridlock. The primary thing Eroğan is trying to avoid though is a coup. The Turkish army considers itself the guardians of Turkey and has not been afraid in the past to overthrow (or "advise") the government in order to protect Turkey's secular republic.

With gainning more votes equaling losing seats and army's protecting democracy you might think you heard all the craziness of Turkish politics. But there is more! The AKP is the most openly Islamic mainstream party in Turkey yet it promises to keep good relations with Israel and the United States. The AKP is also actively seeking membership in the European Union (the EU on the other hand is tepid to allow an openly Islamic government into the post-Christian organization).

The CHP also has had good relations with Israel and the United States. This may seem surprising because the CHP is a member of Socialist International and considers itself a revolutionary party. Leftists in Turkey however are quick to point out the CHP is now the party of the army and the status quo.

For previous works on Turkey click here.


Jennifer said...

Turkey is an interesting country. It seems so contradictory compared to the rest of the countries in that area. with boundaries connecting it both to Europe and Western Asia it is a fascinating contrast. I look forward to studying it more as I progress in college.

I want to thank you for your blog. I was looking for a good geography blog and I have definetely found one here. I look forward to following it.

Catholicgauze said...

Turkey has long been a bridge for both civilizations.

You're welcome for the blog. I just hope I don't disappoint!