Turkey looks set to return to single-party rule after the Islamist-rooted AK Party swept to victory in a general election on Sunday, a major boost for embattled President Tayyip Erdogan but an outcome likely to sharpen deep social divisions. Pavithra George reports.
The sounds of victory in Turkey after its ruling Justice and Development Party or AKP swept the polls in a an unexpected victory for a party, that less than six months ago had lost its majority-hold on parliament. With almost all ballots counted, AKP had grabbed around 50 percent of the votes - effectively crushing any chances of a coalition and restoring single-party rule, that some hoped would usher in peace and stability after months of political uncertainty (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) AK PARTY SUPPORTER, SELIM KALENDER, SAYING: "This was more than an election. The future of the country, its interests were under threat. There were two choices. It would be either chaos or stability." It's a major boost for embattled President Tayyip Erdogan, faced with a Kurdish insurgency at home and a worsening crisis across the border in Syria. Addressing supporters in Konya, an AKP stronghold, Prime Minister and AKP leader Ahmet Davutoglu told supporters the election results were a victory for democracy. But not everyone saw it that way. In the predominantly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir security forces fired tear gas at protesters after support for the pro-Kurdish opposition took a nosedive at the polls In bumper-to-bumper traffic, protesters held Kurdish flags and celebrated the end of the elections, with many hoping the stalled peace talks between Kurdish militants and the Turkish government would resume and that peace would return to the region.