ROUNDUP: Erdogan also with a majority in parliament

ISTANBUL (dpa-AFX) – After his re-election, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan can also rely on a majority in parliament. This emerges from the final results of the parliamentary elections published in Ankara on Tuesday more than two weeks ago. However, Erdogan and his AKP party missed the two-thirds majority that would be necessary for constitutional changes. As president, he can largely bypass parliament with decrees, but in certain cases he needs the approval of the people’s representatives.

The 69-year-old defeated opposition candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu in the runoff election for the presidency on Sunday. The parliament was elected two weeks ago. According to the official result, the AKP lost 27 seats, but remains the strongest force (268 seats). Four of their deputies belong to the Kurdish Islamist party Hüda Par, which first entered parliament via the list of the AKP.

During the election campaign, the alliance with the Islamists triggered a lot of criticism. For example, Hüda Par wants to protect the “traditional” family from “deviant” ideologies. Girls and boys should be taught separately according to their preferences. Erdogan himself had campaigned with anti-gay, anti-lesbian and anti-trans slogans. Together with the MPs from the Islamist Yeniden Refah and the ultra-nationalist MHP, Erdogan’s supporters have 323 seats.

The opposition CHP gained 23 seats – and thus the most clearly. She now has 169 MPs. This also includes 10 seats for the Gelecek party and 15 for the Deva party. The pro-Kurdish HDP, which ran with the Green Left Party because of an impending ban, lost six seats and now has 61 seats. The parliamentarians are expected to be sworn in on Friday. Then it is also about the composition of the future cabinet.

In his new term of office, Erdogan faces major challenges – above all economic ones. The national currency, the lira, has lost massively in value over the past two years. She continued to give way on Tuesday. Previously, it had approached the record low reached just last week. Erdogan promised to compensate for the loss of prosperity. Experts blame his low interest rate policy for the current high inflation of more than 40 percent. During the election campaign, Erdogan wooed the voters with gifts such as free gas.

Observers also blame the strong control over the media in the country for the renewed victory despite the difficult economic situation. The national broadcasting authority has repeatedly punished content critical of the government in the few remaining opposition media outlets. On Tuesday, she announced that she had started investigations into broadcasters that had broadcast “humiliating statements” about the Turkish people on election night. The government directly or indirectly controls much of the media landscape.

According to the organization Reporters Without Borders, Turkey ranks 165th out of 180 in the global press freedom ranking