Turkish Prime Minister embarking on a third term, saying Turkey will be the bridge to the West.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan embarking on a third term after the election Sunday, but his party, the AKP - which stands for a mixture of economic liberalism and religious conservatism – don’t have majority in the National Assembly alone.
Will be a bridge builder
It was a humbled Erdogan who spoke to supporters outside the party headquarters in Ankara on Sunday. He assured that the life style, beliefs and values of 74 million Turks are in good hands as the AKP remains in charge.
He promised extensive cooperation and consensus politics, but it was also clear that Turkey has an important geopolitical role to play. He said that Turkey will continue to be a bridge between the Muslim world and the West.
21 million voted AKP
Although the AKP didn’t win a majority, Erdogan expressed enthusiasm for an election victory that means that five million more voters gave the party their vote than in 2007.
- Today we received the votes of 21 million citizens, he said.
Erdogan said the election gives the government a mandate to build a new constitution "through consensus and negotiation," reports BBC News. Turkey's current constitution comes from the period under military government.
Almost 50 percent
With 91 percent of the vote counted, Erdogan's party AKP won 49.89 per cent of the vote in Sunday's election, according to the Turkish news agency Anadolu. It gives them 325 seats in parliament, which is five fewer than they needed to ensure the majority alone.
- We will seek consensus with the opposition in and outside parliament, media, NGOs, academics and anyone who has something to say, said Erdogan in his speech in Ankara after the election victory was secured.
He said that the AKP will take on the work to design a new, civilian constitution that embraces all social layers.
The Muslim voice
He also referred to Turkey's desire to be the region and the Muslim voice to the West and said that Bosnians, Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians all benefit AKPs election victory.
- Believe me, this is a victory as much to Sarajevo, Istanbul, Beirut, Izmir, Damascus, Ankara, Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin, West Bank, Jerusalem and Diyarbakir, Erdogan said.
More than 50 million people, around two-thirds of Turkey's 74 million inhabitants, were entitled to vote in Sunday's election. TV channel NTV said the voter turnout was 84.5 percent.