Oppressive era ended through democracy: CHP
DHA PhotoPreliminary results from Turkey’s parliamentary election suggest that the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has won over 25 percent of the vote, largely retaining the 26 percent support it received in general elections four years ago, according to unofficial results from Anadolu Agency.
“We have ended an oppressive era through democratic ways. Democracy has won; Turkey has won,” CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said in a short speech after the elections.
“This result does not require my resignation,” Kılıçdaroğlu told daily Hürriyet.
The 25.32 percent support will give the party around 132 seats in the 550-seat parliament. The party received 26.0 percent of the vote and 135 seats in the 2011 parliamentary elections, which the party contested under Kılıçdaroğlu’s leadership for the first time after he replaced long-time leader Deniz Baykal in 2010.
The CHP was unable to increase its vote share due to the transfer of many votes to the Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) amid a campaign to ensure the party crossed the 10 percent electoral threshold, particularly from among young people who were attracted by the campaign of popular HDP co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş.
“The winner of the June 7 elections is democracy and Turkey, the loser is [President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan,” CHP Deputy Chairman Haluk Koç said in his first assessment after the elections.
“The oppressive regime has ended,” he said, noting that his party had become the most important political actor that can form the government.
“There is no possibility that we can come together with the AKP,” Koç said after being asked if the CHP could make a coalition with the ruling party.
Senior CHP official Murat Karayalçın said he expected the CHP to form the government if other opposition parties kept their promises not to make a coalition with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
In Istanbul, the CHP lost 1 percent of the votes, while the HDP increased 8 percent, Karayalçın told reporters on June 7.
“Taking into account that increase in the total number of votes, we can say that the CHP has preserved its support,” he said. “Voters delivered a clear no to the presidential system,” Karayalçın added.
The CHP manifesto includes measures to increase disability benefits, raise the minimum wage to 1,500 Turkish Liras and grant payouts to pensioners twice a year on religious holidays.
The party pledged to extend general health insurance to 3.2 million people as part of measures to combat poverty.
As part of its electoral campaign, the CHP announced plans to build a new mega city called “Central Turkey” (Merkez Türkiye) to serve as a trade hub between Europe, Asia and other continents.
The “mega city,” with a planned population of 3,000,000, will be completed by 2035 with $40 billion in public investment for infrastructure and $160 billion in private investment for superstructure. Powered by renewable energy and designed as a smart city, it will host production plants, logistics and trade facilities, research and development centers, techno parks, cultural institutions and a free trade zone.