Results of the Turkish Elections are as Follows:
AKP 50 percent; 325 members
CHP 26 percent; 135 members
MHP 13 percent; 54 members,
Independents (BDP) 6 percent; 36 members
Turkish PM Concerned Over Developments In Syria
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said Turkey is concerned over incidents in Syria as the al-Assad government increases violence against its civilians in a crackdown of anti-government protests, which has seen the death of scores.
"Developments in Syria is very much concerning," Erdoğan said in an interview Friday.
Erdoğan said over three thousand Syrians have fled the violence to Turkey since last Wednesday, adding that the government was taking all measures to control the exodus.
"We are exerting efforts to prevent things that happened on our borders during the Saddam regime in Iraq," Erdoğan said. "We will open our doors to those who seek refuge but that would take place in a controlled fashion."
Erdoğan said the Turkish Red Crescent Society extended medical aid and provided shelter for the Syrians who took refuge in Turkey.
Syrians Plead for Turkey's Help
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan received 5,000 e-mails from Syrians after the Damascus administration started a massacre.
In the e-mails, written in English and in Arabic, the Syrians asked for help from Turkey and Erdoğan. They also wanted protection against the al-Assad administration.
The e-mails included some videos showing massacres.
Number of Syrian Refugees Reach 5,000 as Army Enters Flashpoint Town
The number of Syrian civilians fleeing into Turkey exceeded 5,000 on Sunday, with thousands more reportedly waiting near the border.
The Syrian army entered Jisr al-Shughour and "cleansed the state hospital in the city from terrorists," the Syrian news agency, SANA, reported on Sunday.
Hürriyet Daily News learned that nearly 6,000 more Syrian civilians were waiting to enter Turkey from across the Turkish-Syrian border.
Injured Syrians continue to cross the border as well. They are being hospitalized in the Antakya state hospital in Hatay province.
Footage recorded in a tent across the border in Syria, where civilians wait to cross into Turkey, show two elderly women crying. One of them says, "Syrian soldiers killed all the young men in the village, they burned our houses, God punish them, God punish Assad." The rest of the video shows injured Syrians in the state hospital in Antakya.
Some civilians have opted to campout in the open countryside near the Turkish border, sitting out the turmoil in populated areas, Hürriyet reported, and keeping flight into Turkey as a last resort, in case the Syrian army encroaches on them.
Syrians Protest Outside Turkish Embassy
A group of Syrians demonstrated against Turkey outside the Turkish Embassy in Damascus late Sunday. Syrians, waving Syrian flags and posters of President Bashar al-Assad, protested Turkey's stance over the uprising in Syria.
Some protesters climbed embassy walls and hung Syrian flags. They also tried to bring down the Turkish flag, but Syrian security forces stopped them.
Following recent clashes between government forces and anti-Assad protesters, thousands of Syrian people fled to Turkey to escape violence. Turkish officials have repeatedly urged Syrian government to stop violence and make reforms in their country.
Turkish PM Wins Third Term in Recent Elections
Turkish Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ruling Justice and Development Party won in a landslide victory in Sunday's general elections, claiming one out of every two votes of the Turks, earning 49.91 percent of the total votes. This is the third straight election victory for Erdogan, who boosted support from as high as 50 percent to 34.28 percent in elections in 2002. The AK Party, however, won fewer seats than it did in the previous elections, earning 326 seats out of 550. In 2007, a 46.58 percent voter support gave Erdogan 341 lawmakers. Main opposition Republican People's Party won 25.91 percent of the votes with 135 seats as opposition Nationalist Movement Party won 13 percent with 53 seats. Independents get 2.8 million votes to claim 36 seats at the parliament.
Erdoğan Breaks Election Record
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made history after winning three general elections successively by increasing his votes. Adnan Menderes had won three elections, but in the third election he lost votes.
The Justice and Development Party (AK), which came to power in 2002 by getting 34 percent of the votes, got 47 percent of the votes in 2007 and won 50 percent of the votes in yesterday's elections.
Adnan Menderes got 52 percent of the votes in his first election, 57 percent in the second and 47 percent of the votes in his last election. Although the AK Party increased the percentage of Erdoğan votes, the number of his MPs dropped to 326.
This figure is below 330, which enables the party to carry constitutional changes to referendum.
BDP Comes Up Second in Elections
The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) entered the elections under the Labor, Democracy and Freedom Block platform and won more than 2.5 million votes.
BDP reached 6.4 percent of the votes, and won 36 deputy positions.
In the 2007 elections, BDP sent 21 parliamentarians toparliament after getting 5.2 percent of the votes.
Five Eregenkon Case Suspects Elected MPs
Five suspects in the Eregenkon case were elected MPs in Sunday's polls. Journalist Mustafa Balbay and scholar Mehmet Haberal -- both currently behind bars -- were elected with the main opposition Republican People's Party from Izmir and Zonguldak, respectively. Two other suspects, Sinan Aygun and Ilhan Cihaner also won seats in the parliament. Another suspect, former military officer Engin Alan, was also elected with the Nationalist Movement Party.
AKP Will Embrace All, Erdoğan Says
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addressed the people after winning Sunday's elections with a great majority of votes.
"We will embrace everyone, whether they voted for the AKP or not," Erdoğan said in a speech at his party's headquarters late Sunday.
"The people have won," Erdoğan said, adding that unlawfulness and the rule of the "privileged ones" lost once more. "A Turkey with gangs has become a thing of the past with the decision of the Turkish people."
The AKP does not distinguish between members of the public and will continue this trait, he said. "The lifestyles, faiths and values of 74 million people are entrusted to us."
Freedoms will broaden, the prime minister said, adding that everyone will be able to express themselves even better. "Our responsibility has grown," he said.
Erdoğan put special emphasis on Turkey's regional role, saluting people from several countries including Iraq, Syria, Lebaonon, Tunisia and Egypt.
We have also been given the authority to make the new constitution. We have been given the chance to make the new constitution with consensus. We deem our promises on the rallies will be hope inspiring. We will not close our doors just because we have 330 deputies.
I say that if the main opposition and other opposition parties approve, we will sit and talk, and we will have dialogue with the political parties outside the Parliament, non-governmental organizations and associations.
We will make a liberal constitution altogether. The east, the west, the north and the south will find themselves in this constitution.
This new constitution will be addressed to every single individual in Turkey. In the new constitution, every citizen will be "the first." This constitution will focus on peace. This constitution will be the constitution of the Kurd, of Turkmen people, of Alevis, of all minorities, which means all 74 million people. This constitution will be for fraternity, for sharing, for unity and solidarity.
After completing his speech at the party headquarters late, Erdoğan returned to the stage to sing the Justice and Development Party election campaign song "Bir Daha" – "Once Again" -- with his party's supporters.
Opposition Leader Aims to Become Ruling Party in Next Four Years
Turkey's main opposition leader said on Sunday that his party aimed at becoming the ruling party in the next 4 years.
Turkish voters went to the polls in the general elections on Sunday to shape the 550-seat parliament.
The country's main opposition party, CHP, won almost 26 percent of the total votes, while the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) won 13 percent; Independents gained around 6.3 percent.
Addressing citizens at CHP headquarters in Ankara, Turkey's capital, late on Sunday, CHP chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu said, "If we can gain the support of 3.5 million additional voters in six months, we have a four-year term ahead of us and we aim at becoming the ruling party in this period."
Kilicdaroglu said his party always defended democracy and would continue to do so. Besides, he said, his party would continue to closely monitor issues such as the new constitution, gender equality and media.
"We will continue our fight to carry Turkey to the same standards with modern countries. We will not give up our fight for a free and independent country," Kilicdaroglu said.
The chairman noted that results of today's election would not discourage his party.
"CHP is the only party which has increased its number of deputies. Do not ever forget this fact," he said. "We have displayed all the efforts to turn Turkey into a more modern, civilized and free country, and we will continue to do so. Majority of the 3.5 million new supporters we have gained in this election are youngsters and women. Nobody has the right or authority to lose hope," Kilicdaroglu added.
MHP Leader Criticizes Defamation Campaign Against Own Party
The leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) criticized defamation campaigns and attacks against his own political party.
In a statement about unofficial results of the general elections, Devlet Bahceli said, "We respect the preference made by the Turkish people. They have given us the role of opposition."
"Pre-election scenarios revealed a thought-provoking and controversial situation. Defamation campaigns and attacks against MHP constituted a stain in the history of our democracy," he said.
"We are determined to make any efforts for the benefit of our people at any cost. MHP takes into consideration our people's support and attaches great importance to this," he added.
MHP won 13.01 percent of the votes, winning 53 seats at the 550-seat parliament.
After Vote, Turkey Should Block Flotilla
Israel hopes the Turkish government of re-elected Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will block a flotilla of activists hoping to sail to Gaza, an Israeli minister said on Monday.
"It's clear that we don't want to see encouragement on the part of the Turkish government towards a provocative flotilla," Israel's deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, told public radio following Sunday's election in Turkey.
"We hope that a responsible government will not act against international law and will stop its citizens from entering dangerous zones."
A group of pro-Palestinian activists, led by several Turkish groups, have said they plan to sail to Gaza in June, in a repeat of a mission they undertook in May 2010.
That flotilla resulted in bloodshed when Israeli commandos raided the ships on May 31, as they approached Gaza. Nine Turks were killed in the assault, which was widely condemned and soured relations between Israel and Ankara.
The activists involved in the new flotilla have said they plan to go ahead with their mission, despite Egypt's decision to re-open the Rafah border crossing, effectively weakening Israel's blockade of the coastal strip.
Israel has strongly urged Turkey to block the flotilla from leaving this time, warning that its forces will take action to prevent activists from arriving in Gaza.
"This election is an occasion to open a new page. This doesn't depend on us, but on the Turks, and we hope to see from them a policy that is more thought out and balanced and responsible," Ayalon said.
"We don't consider Turkey an enemy state. We hope that the Turks agree to take a significant step before relations with Israel degrade more than they have in the last year or two, mostly due to them," he added.
Last week, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called on activists to rethink the flotilla and suggested that aid could be delivered without provoking Israel or risking the lives of citizens.
"Civic groups should take into account the fact that the Rafah crossing (between Gaza and Egypt) has been opened and ... (should) act in a more careful manner," he said in remarks carried by the Anatolia news agency.
He insisted, however, that it would be "unacceptable" for the Turkish government to demand independent civic groups abandon the mission, planned for late June with 15 ships from various countries.
Turkey's Account Deficit Widened to $7.7 Billion in April
Turkey's current-account deficit widened in April from a year earlier, underlining the most pressing economic weakness facing Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as he starts his third term in office.
The deficit widened to $7.7 billion from $4.4 billion in the same month of 2010, the state statistics agency in Ankara said on its website today.
It was the second-biggest gap since records began in 1984, after the record $9.8 billion in March.
Turkey Must Improve Freedoms, Poll Says
Western observers say Turkey's elections were well managed, but the country needs to expand freedoms to strengthen its democracy.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won a third term in office in Sunday's election, and he seeks to overhaul Turkey's military-era constitution.
Election monitors from The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said Monday that the election demonstrated pluralism. But they urged Turkey to improve freedom of expression and create a media environment "free from political pressure."
The OSCE delegation also criticized Turkey's 10 percent electoral threshold that keeps smaller parties out of parliament.
The group said the threshold hindered parliament's representative nature.