Turkey voted for ‘stability, confidence’ says winner Davutoğlu, pledging to embrace all
AFP photoPrime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, whose Justice and Development Party (AKP) won the Nov. 1 snap election by a landslide, has said the Turkish people voted for “stability and confidence,” pledging to protect the rights of all citizens, not just AKP’s supporters.
“Today is a victory for our democracy and our people ... Hopefully we will serve you well for the next four years and stand in front of you once again in 2019,” Davutoğlu said early on Nov. 2, addressing thousands of people who waited for hours in the cold to hear him speak from the balcony of the AKP headquarters in Ankara.
With the AKP widely accused of anti-democratic steps in recent years, Davutoğlu also vowed to protect the rights of all 78 million of Turkey’s people.
“Our nation asked for stability and confidence. It has openly displayed that it wants a solution to its problems.
No step back will be taken from democracy, law, compassion and love. Everybody’s rights are under assurance and the rights of everybody, of all our 78 million people, will absolutely be protected,” he said.
Turkey has experienced sharp polarization, particularly in the five months leading up to the Nov. 1 election after the June 7 parliamentary election failed to produce a single-party government.
Davutoğlu delivered his speech after traveling to the capital Ankara from his hometown Konya, where he also earlier addressed crowds of cheering supporters near the tomb of the famous 13th century poet and mystic Mevlana Jalaladdin Rumi, widely viewed as a symbol of tolerance. Earlier in the evening, after it became clear that the AKP had won a decisive legislative majority sufficient to form a single-party government, the prime minister tweeted a message stating simply “Elhamdulillah” (Thanks be to God).
New constitution and ‘brotherhood’
Hailing the result as a “victory for democracy” and saying there were “no losers, only winners,” Davutoğlu urged Turkey’s political parties to work together on a new constitution, which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the founding leader of the AKP, has said he would like to see include executive powers for the presidency.
Erdoğan, meanwhile, called Davutoğlu late on Nov. 1 and congratulated both him and his party, sources from the president’s office said.
“I congratulate all of our parties that took part in the Nov. 1 election and all of our citizens who manifested the national will with their votes. I congratulate the AK Parti, which came to power on its own, and its leader and Prime Minister, my brother Ahmet Davutoğlu. I thank each member of our nation who claimed Turkey’s future and the ‘2023 goals’ with the will it displayed at the ballot box,” Erdoğan said in a message posted to his Twitter account on Nov. 2.
He is widely believed to want to rule as a more powerful, U.S.-style president by 2023, the 100th anniversary of the secular republic, rivaling the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, as the most powerful modern Turkish leader.
“Security of life and property for all of our citizens is under our assurance. We will not give up our determination in the fight against terrorism even for a second after today’s results. We have buried all the anti-democratic practices of the ‘Old Turkey.’ Today is a new milestone, as Mevlana said. The ‘New Turkey’ will be built in the strongest way towards 2023,” Davutoğlu said in Konya.
“I’m calling on all parties that entered parliament to help make a native and national constitution. Let’s join hands for a civilian and libertarian constitution, leaving aside coup constitutions,” he said.