As it happened: Turkey's ruling AKP loses majority in blow for Erdoğan

As it happened: Turkey's ruling AKP loses majority in blow for Erdoğan

As it happened: Turkeys ruling AKP loses majority in blow for Erdoğan

Supporters of the HDP celebrate along a street after the parliamentary election in Diyarbakır, Turkey, June 7, 2015, despite the party leadership's calls to avoid celebrations for passing the threshold on the election day. DHA Photo

More than 53.7 million Turkish voters head to the polls on June 7 for a crucial parliamentary election.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has framed the June 7 election in Turkey as a key hurdle on the path to the powerful presidential system that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wants to introduce. 

With about 99 percent of the vote counted and despite being well ahead of other parties with the support of around 40 percent of the populace, the AKP seemed set to received fewer than 276 seats – the bare minimum to keep its parliamentary majority.

The Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), on the other hand, has crossed the 10 percent election threshold and decreased the number of AKP lawmakers considerably.

The HDP had faced scores of physical attacks during its campaign. One of its campaign bus drivers, Hamdullah Öğe, was murdered on June 3, and three of its supporters were killed when twin bomb blasts hit its milestone rally in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on June 5.

Election safety has also been a hot item on the agenda during the campaign ahead of the vote, amid the opposition’s claims that there was fraud in the vote counting process. The government has strictly denied the claim and mobilized a total of 404,000 security personnel to maintain security throughout the day of the election.

Here are the updates as they happened throughout the day: 

1:45 a.m., June 8 - MHP leader Bahçeli rules out any coalition alternative that his nationalist party can be a part of. "It should be a coalition in harmony. The AKP engaged in the solution bid [to solve Turkey's Kurdish problem] with the HDP. These parties should form a coalition. The second model is AKP-CHP-HDP. Our party is ready to be the main opposition party if such a coalition is formed," he says.

11:46 p.m. - “Everyone should know that the AKP is the winner of this election," Turkish PM Davutoğlu told his supporters, claiming the result shows that his party is "the backbone of Turkey." “No one should worry. We will take every precaution within this political framework to maintain stability and the comfort that AKP cadres have provided in the last 12-13 years,” he added (Click here to read more)


10:21 p.m. - "These results represent a happy embrace with the people. The national election threshold was a shame," says HDP co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ.

10:06 p.m. - "Long live democracy!" CHP chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu tells his supporters in a victorious mood. “We have ended an oppressive era through democratic ways. Democracy has won; Turkey has won,” he said. (Click here to read more)

10:05 p.m. - "As of this moment, the debate on the presidency, the debate about dictatorship, has come to an end in Turkey. Turkey has returned from the edge of a cliff," HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş tells journalists in his first post-election speech, stressing the "unfairness" of campaign stemming from the AKP's use of "all the state's powers." Describing the result as a "magnificent victory," Demirtaş said all people who are for freedoms, all the oppressed, all workers, all women and all minorities, had won together. (Click here to read more)

AFP Photo

9:55 p.m. - Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Deputy Group Chair Oktay Vural has told Reuters that any coalition decision with the AKP will be made by the MHP’s central leadership. “Our goal was to form a one-party government. According to the election results, however, it would be right for our headquarters to weigh up any coalition possibility [with the AKP],” said Vural, speaking on behalf of his party. (Click here to read more)

9:30 p.m. - Main opposition CHP Istanbul provincial head Murat Karayalçın tells reporters that President Erdoğan should appoint the CHP chair to form a coalition government, which he claims would succeed.


9:15 p.m. - Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş expressed his happiness at the current election results as the party crossed the election threshold. “We have been expecting around 12 or 13 percent of the votes. And it turned out as we expected. We are happy with the results,” Demirtaş told daily Hürriyet. (Click here to read more)

9:00 p.m. - The HDP is guaranteed to pass the threshold with more than 5.29 million votes. With more than 90 percent of the votes counted, here is the breakdown... AKP: 41.3% (254-261 seats) - CHP: 25.3% (130-132 seats) - MHP: 16.7% (82-85 seats) - HDP: 12.1% (78-79 seats)

8:55 p.m. - "We expect a minority government and an early election," a senior AKP official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

8:52 p.m. - "The nation's decision is the best decision. Do not worry. We will never bow down to any power," Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu says in a brief speech to thank the AKP supporters in his hometown, Konya.


8:44 p.m. - Turkey's nationalist MHP deputy chairman tells Reuters that it is too early to consider role as a coalition partner with the AKP.

8:38 p.m. - Education Minister Nabi Avcı has evaluated the current election results as more than 80 per-cent of the votes counted. Avcı said they receive so much variable results across Turkey and as well as Eskişehir where the Republican People’s Party (CHP) is now at 39 percent and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) is at 36 percent. Avcı also added it is more convenient to speak after the final results. 

8:30 p.m. - More than 1.6 million citizens have used a new Facebook feature designed especially for Turkey's election: The "I Am Voting" button.


8:25 p.m. - Speaking on Turkish media, many analysts say that the results may mean early elections, if parties cannot agree on a coalition government.

8:22 p.m. - "Based on initial election results, we are on the verge of entering parliament and winning 80 seats," HDP deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder says, stressing that their supporters should remain at the ballot boxes until the counting is finalized. (Click here to read more)

7:48 p.m. - Pro-government columnist Abdülkadir Selvi describes the current situation as a "breakthrough," saying that a coalition government might be on the horizon. The simulation of CNN Türk shows that the AKP lacks 11 seats at the parliament to form a single party government. (Click here to consider your own scenarios with our simulator)

7:45 p.m. - With more than 70 percent of the votes counted, the AKP stands at 43 percent, the CHP is at 24.5 percent, the MHP is the third party with 17 percent of the votes while the HDP is well above the threshold at 11.1 percent. 

7:26 p.m. - According to private broadcaster CNN Türk's forecast, the ruling AKP may lose a single-party majority, while the HDP is expected to cross the threshold.

7:18 p.m. - According to analysts speaking on private broadcaster CNN Türk, initial results indicate that the HDP is on the edge of the 10 percent election threshold, but "the trend signals that a four-party parliament is possible."

7:15 p.m. - With over 50 percent of the votes counted, here are the initial results according to state-run Anadolu Agency and private Cihan news agency. As the election blackout continues, the parties cannot be named yet.

Anadolu Agency Cihan news agency


6:50 p.m. - Election officials in the Marmara province of Bursa have been left stuck inside their polling station, a primary school, after a wall collapsed due to heavy rainfall.


6:40 p.m. - Two Turkish news agencies, Anadolu and Cihan, are providing wildly different results, with 30 percent of the votes counted so far. Analysing initial results on broadcaster CNN Türk, Emin Çapa says most votes from metropolises such as Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir have not been counted so far.

6:30 p.m. - 22.2 percent of the votes have been counted so far.

6:20 p.m. - 16 percent of the votes have been counted so far, but the official publication ban on the initial results is continuing.

6:10 p.m. - 10.6 percent of the votes have been counted so far.

6.00 p.m. - According to a consolidated vote tally from Anadolu and Cihan news agencies, 6.6 percent of the votes have been counted so far, but the official publication ban on the initial results is continuing.

5.50 p.m. - During the counting of votes coming from abroad, a group claimed that some ballots were illegally thrown into the garbage at the Ankara Chamber of Commerce, according to private broadcaster CNN Türk. Police have arrived to stop a resulting fist-fight between party officials. "There is no problem at the place where votes from abroad are being counted. Our friends are on duty there. No need to panic," HDP co-chair Demirtaş has said.


5.45 p.m. - 0.9 percent of the votes have been counted so far, but the official publication ban on the initial results is continuing.

5:00 p.m. - Polls close across Turkey and vote-counting starts at 174,240 ballot boxes.

4.55 p.m. -
A headman in Batman’s Yolveren village was all by lonesome on June 7, as he was the only person to cast a vote at his polling booth because the locality’s other 16 registered voters all now live in Germany. (Click here to read more)

4:50 p.m. - Residents of the Kuşu village in Turkey’s western province of Kütahya have boycotted the elections for a third time since 2011, when the town’s status was reduced to “village” due to a population decrease. (Click here to read more)

4:42 p.m. - Istanbul Gov. Vasip Şahin has confirmed the cars without license plates cannot belong to the police, according to CHP Istanbul provincial head Murat Karayalçın, who spoke with Şahin on the phone.

4:10 p.m. - A Turkish voter in the Aegean province of Manisa stamped himself in the forehead rather than the ballot paper to protest the elections, in which he said he had no faith. (Click here to read more)


2:55 p.m. - Several citizens who were injured when twin bomb blasts hit the HDP's rally in Diyarbakır on June 5 cast their votes. "Both of my feet were broken in the bomb attack. I would still vote if both of them had chopped off," 59-year-old Sabahattin Bekçi said, stressing that he was casting his vote "for peace and freedoms."



2:20 p.m. - President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan casts his vote in Istanbul. “I observe that there is a high turnout [at the polls]. Thus this is a necessary situation for a strong democracy,” he said. (Click here to read more)


2.19 p.m. - Republican People's Party (CHP) chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu casts his vote in Ankara. “The campaign period was unequal. Turkey and the rest of the world know this. Nevertheless, we worked, and will continue to work, with a sense of responsibility,” he said. (Click here to read more)


1:20 p.m. - A brawl at a voting center in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa has left 15 people injured. Party representatives at the ballot box in the Eyyübiye district of Şanlıurfa clashed with rifles, knives, clubs and stones, DHA reported.

12:40 p.m. - Energy Minister Taner Yıldız, whose term as a parliamentarian ends today, reassures public that all measures have been taken to prevent any power blackouts during the vote-counting process as seen in last year's local elections. "I'll be working until morning to inspect whether the measures work," he has told reporters. Yıldız was criticized when he said in March 2014 that the controversial blackouts were caused by a cat that had entered a power distribution unit. (Click here to read more about Turkey's naughty cats)


Turkish media has dubbed the Energy Ministry's Electrical Current Management Center in Ankara "the Cat Prevention Center." Yıldız, who is now heading the center, has said he will inform the public about any blackout every two hours.

12:15 p.m. - Turkish social media discusses how HDP co-chair Demirtaş cast his vote. The exaggeratedly calm way he threw his envelope into the box has widely been perceived as a mocking reference to Egemen Bağış, Turkey's former EU minister, who had raised eyebrows by how he cast his vote during the parliamentary poll that would drop graft allegations targeting him and other ministers in January 2015. "We see bad copy cats and defamers again," Bağış tweeted in response, quoting Anton Chekhov, who had said that "if somebody talks behind you, it means that you're ahead." (Click here to read more about the parliamentary vote on Bağış)


Egemen Bağış vs. Selahattin Demirtaş

12:08 p.m. - Private broadcaster CNNTürk reports the turnout in the most populous southeastern province, Diyarbakır, is likely to exceed 90 percent, as long lines have been observed in polling centers since early morning.

11:56 a.m. - Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) chair Devlet Bahçeli casts his vote in Ankara. "I wish that the election results would be beneficial for our country," he said. (Click here to read more)


10:35 a.m. - HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş casts his vote in Istanbul’s Sultanbeyli neighborhood. “Whatever the election results will be, nobody should lose their hope. We want this election to prepare the ground for a new constitution that will guarantee that nobody will feel alienated,” he said. (Click here to read more)


10:25 a.m. - HDP co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ casts her vote in the eastern province of Van. "God willing, the results will be the beneficial for the whole Turkey and can open the doors of the future," she said.


9:40 a.m. - Turkish military helicopters transfer ballot papers and election officials from election centers to the southeastern province of Diyarbakır’s Lice, Hani and Dicle districts near Turkey’s border with Syria. (AA Photo)


9:00 a.m. - Doğan News Agency reports that the turnout in the southeastern provinces of Batman, Şırnak and Tunceli is high, as long lines have been observed in polling centers. High turnout rates have also been reported in the Thracian provinces of Edirne and Kırklareli.

8:00 a.m. - Voting has begun across Turkey in all of its 81 provinces in 174,236 ballot boxes.