Turkey’s Choice

The Justice and Development Party's resounding victory brings to an end Kemal Ataturk's secular vision for Turkey. But this does not necessarily mean that Turkey will become an Islamic, must less an Islamist, country.

In what may be Turkey’s most important political event since the republic was founded in the 1920’s, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has won a landslide parliamentary election victory, with around 47% of the vote. Only two other parties – the Republican People’s Party (CHP) with 21% and the National Movement Party (MHP) with 14% – surpassed the 10% threshold for representation in parliament. A number of independents will complete the legislative roster.

What makes the result so complex is that the ruling AKP got far more votes – up 13 percentage points from 2002 – but fewer seats than it had before. The party will be able to form a government by itself, but will lack the two-thirds majority needed to bring about some of the big changes that it seeks. Still, the AKP can be satisfied that after five years in office its popular support has climbed, while the opposition has been shown to be incapable of challenging it seriously.

The AKP’s resounding victory means that the Turkish republic originally shaped as a secular state by Kemal Ataturk in the 1920’s is dead. However, this does not necessarily mean that Turkey will become an Islamic, must less an Islamist, country.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To access our archive, please log in or register now and read two articles from our archive every month for free. For unlimited access to our archive, as well as to the unrivaled analysis of PS On Point, subscribe now.


By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in


Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.