As predicted, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan won a third term in the elections on Sunday (via The BBC). His party, the Justice and Development (AKP) won nearly 50 per cent of the vote, enough to secure a comfortable victory, but not enough for Erdogan’s party to unilaterally rewrite the constitution.Gavin Hewitt from the BBC reports that “there is the lingering fear that Mr Erdogan is an autocrat in the making. So he was given a victory, but with limits to his power.”
Turkey requires a two-thirds majority to change the Constitution without consulting parliament. Erdogan’s victory falls short of that threshold, so he will have to work with the other parties in order to get a new constitution passed.
Gencer Ozcan, professor for international relations at Bilgi University, told The Guardian that “Erdogan wants to implement a presidential system. This is the main goal of a new constitution.” As the constitution stands now, Erdogan would be barred from serving another term after 2015.
In his victory speech, Erdogan spoke of his willingness to cooperate with other parties on a new constitution. Erdogan said that, “we will go to the opposition. We will consult with the media and academics to find a consensus. We will not close our doors regarding the constitution, only because we haven’t reached 330 seats.”
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