Published: Wed, June 27, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Erdogan secures sweeping new powers as rival accepts vote defeat

Erdogan secures sweeping new powers as rival accepts vote defeat

One voter took time out of her wedding day to cast her ballot.

The president, 64, declared victory in Istanbul before returning to Ankara to deliver a triumphant speech at 3:00 am to tens of thousands of supporters from the balcony of the headquarters of his Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The expected nationalistic discourse of AKP-MHP coalition in Parliament can also result in Turkey's cross-border moves against Kurdish militants in Syria and Iraq, and create a new fault line between Ankara and Washington over the latter's support for the Kurds of the region.

The new system creates a vertical of power with Erdogan at the top, giving him the power to appoint cabinet ministers and dispensing with the office of prime minister.

The Venice Commission, which provides legal advice to the Council of Europe, warned about the changes in a report, saying they would "lead to an excessive concentration of executive power in the hands of the president and the weakening of parliamentary control of that power".

Erdogan won an election on Sunday that strengthens his increasingly authoritarian rule. Though this will please the opposition, the ruling government could easily reimpose it. What we have been complaining about and what we have been frustrated by is the unpredictability of everything, not only of global politics but also in domestic politics.

With Erdogan polling 52.6 percent against his 30.6 percent, Ince acknowledged that the Turkish strongman had won over 10 million more votes than him. Voter turnout for the election was reportedly 87%.

Why did Erdogan hold elections early?

The AK Party secured 295 seats of the parliamentary share. The MHP performed particularly well in the election, winning 49 seats and indicating that many Turks are still very much in favor of a nationalist government.

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The parliament will still have power to enact, modify and remove legislation.

The appeal of the MHP - as well as the emergence of a new nationalist party in parliament, the Iyi or Good Party - indicates that Turkey will only continue to strengthen its nationalist policy at home and overseas. He further said that the historic and unparalleled bilateral relations between Pakistan and Turkey would continue to grow from strength to strength.

Erdogan's victory could also add to Turkey's division with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Still, it was not enough to break Erdogan's grip on power. That's why, ahead of the election, Erdogan began opening religious schools. The lira has fallen more than 18% this year against the U.S. dollar as investors watched Erdogan attack the central bank's independence, suggesting that high interest rates stoke, rather than tame, inflation.

The budding dictator has a large constituency that makes up about half of the country, which is for most part the country's conservative Muslim population. "And this is the most important election I've participated in".

Turkish markets initially rallied on hopes of increased political stability - investors had feared deadlock between Erdogan and an opposition-controlled parliament - but then retreated amid concerns over future monetary policy.

Erdogan has also campaigned against the backdrop of increasing economic woes including high inflation and a currency that has sometimes been in freefall. And officials, such as the head of Turkey's central bank, will have to find a way to address these issues while managing Erdogan's disinterest in increasing interest rates.

Ince, of the secular Republican People's Party (CHP), was on 31.5 per cent. Erdogan's Islamic-rooted ruling party first came to power in 2002 after years of secular domination.

Ece Temelkuran, an author who is also known as Turkey's "most-read political columnist", has told Euronews that, with this election, Turkey is sending an important message to the European Union and the rest of the world.

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