The November 3 early elections in Turkey, which saw 18 parties "compete,"
resulted in a single governing party, and not a coalition, for the first time in many years.
The Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) will seat only two parties, the Justice and Development Party (AKP), and the Republican People's Party (CHP), out of 18 parties. Turkey will have a two-party parliament for the first time in many years.
The fact that 16 of the 18 parties that run in elections did not get enough votes to pass the 10 percent election barrier, and that only two parties sent lawmakers to the parliament, will be one of the most debated issues.
The parties that objected to lowering the election barrier level got unexpectedly little support in the elections. All five parties that got enough votes on 18 April 1999 elections to sit in the parliament were unable to pass the election barrier level this time. The leaders of four of those parties did something very unusual for Turkey, and announced they would withdraw from being the head of their parties.
AKP "Takes the lead on its own"
With 10 million 780 thousand and 842 votes, AKP came out of elections as the leading party. With 34.41 percent of the votes, AKP is able to send 363 lawmakers to the parliament. AKP will form a government without its leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Second party CHP is unhappy
CHP, which got 19.49 percent of votes, and will be able send 178 lawmakers to the parliament, did not get the result it was expecting to. In a possible government formed by AKP, CHP's influence within the parliament will be very low.
With 8.72 of votes during the last elections, CHP was unable to pass the election barrier and send lawmakers to the parliament in 1999. This time, CHP won many votes with former economy minister Kemal Dervis joining the party. But it was still unable to get enough support to compete with AKP.
Demirel's party below election barrier
The True Path Party (DYP) that was an opposition party before the elections, won only 9.6 percent of the votes and did not get the support to pass the election barrier and send lawmakers to the parliament. DYP's head Tansu Ciller, who had been leading the party after its spiritual leader Suleyman Demirel, announced she would not be a candidate in the upcoming party congress.
MHP is a victim of its own policies
The Nationalist Action Party (MHP), one of the three parties forming the governing coalition, had strongly reacted against the steps its partners Motherland Party (ANAP) and Democratic Left Party (DSP) took towards the European Union. With 8.4 percent of the votes, MHP was the second party after DYP to be left out of the parliament.
Before the election results were clear, MHP's head Devlet Bahceli announced that he assumed the responsibility of the defeat. He announced that he would not run as a candidate to lead the party in the 2003 party congress. MHP was the party that had started the early election process. Former MHP lawmaker Mehmet Gul, accepted that it was a mistake to start the early election process.
"Turkey's way" not clear
The Youth Party (GP), established three months ago, spent a lot of money on advertisements. The party's head Cem Uzan made a lot of promises and gave nationalist speeches continuously opposing the International Monetary Fund (IMF). GP got 7.3 percent of the votes but still became only the fifth party.
Left bloc insufficient
Democratic People's Party (DEHAP), which is composed of People's Democracy Party (HADEP), Socialist Democracy Party (SDP), Work's Party (EMEP), and some other leftist parties, won more than 10 percent of the votes in 16 provinces in the east and southeast.
Although DEHAP was the leading party in 13 provinces, on the total it got only 6.2 percent of the votes and did not get enough support to send lawmakers to the parliament.
The leading party of the 80s below election barrier
ANAP, which was established in 1983 by Turgut Ozal after the September 12 military coup was one of the coalition parties of the 57th government of Turkey. With only 5 percent of votes, ANAP did not get enough support to pass the election barrier level for the first time in its history. Mesut Yilmaz, the head of the party announced he would "withdraw from active politics."
Felicity Party fell victim to AKP
Felicity Party (SP), which had its roots in Welfare (RP) and Virtue Parties (FP), got only 2.5 percent of the votes despite the charismatic support of Necmettin Erbakan. The party's head Recai Kutan continuously spoke against AKP during his elections campaign.
"Prime Minister" far from election barrier
DSP, which came out as the leading party from the 18 April 1999 elections, was the party to lose the most support in November 3 elections. "We committed suicide by deciding on early elections," said Bulent Ecevit, prime minister and head of DSP. DSP's support fell from 22.17 percent to 1.24 percent.
They destroyed both DSP and themselves...
The New Turkey Party (YTP), which was established by former Minister of Foreign Affairs Ismail Cem, former Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan and a group of lawmakers that left DSP, got only 1.15 percent of the votes falling behind DSP. YTP's head Ismail Cem complained of the lack of time.
And the "Others"...
The Grand Unity Party (BBP) headed by Muhsin Yazicioglu got only 1.1 percent of the votes. The party was unable to pass the election barrier in the 1999 elections either.
* The Nation Party (YP) headed by Saadettin Tantan, the former interior minister of the 57th government, got 0.94 percent of the votes and missed the chance of sending lawmakers to the parliament. YP got the most support from Tekirdag.
* The Workers' Party (IP) headed by Dogu Perincek, that got 0.18 percent of votes in the 1999 elections, had more support in these elections and increased its votes to 0.50 percent.
* The Free Turkey Party (BTP) established by Haydar Bas last year won 0.40 percent of votes. BTP was the third party in Kilis.
* The Freedom and Solidarity Party (ODP) established in 1996 and headed by Ufuk Uras lost support. The party, which got 0.80 percent of votes in the 1999 elections, won 0.34 percent of votes at the November 3 elections.
* The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), established in 1994 and headed by Besim Tibuk was one of the parties that lost support. LDP, which had won 0.41 percent of votes in the 1999 elections, won only 0.29 percent of votes this time.
* The Nation's Party (MP) headed by Aykut Edibali was the second from last. It got only 0.22 percent of the votes.
* Turkey's Communist Party (TKP), which is the first ever party in Turkey to run in elections with the word "communist" in its name, had the least support in the November 3 elections. TKP got only 0.19 percent of the votes. (EO/HA/NK/EA/NM)