Turkish voters back ruling party

Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is heading for a sweeping victory in local elections, according to early results.

    The AKP has swept to a clear victory in local elections

    But the final hours of campaigning and the election itself were marred by outbreaks of violence, mostly in the Kurdish-majority eastern part of the country, which left nine dead and scores injured.

    A smiling Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan thanked voters as he claimed victory in Sunday's local elections, nearly a year and a half after his party swept to power in parliamentary polls.

    "Some 17 months on, the people have re-elected us. We have earned the confidence of the people," he said in a speech televised from AKP headquarters in Ankara.

    Erdogan, a former Islamist and Istanbul mayor who now advocates secularism, 

    also extended his condolences to the families of those killed or injured in outbreaks of election-related violence over the weekend.

    At least nine were killed and scores injured.

    Sunday's elections - involving five different ballots - were held to choose 93,000 representatives across the country's 81 provinces - including mayors, city councillors, provincial councillors and village elders - who will serve for a term of five years.

    Rivals trailing

    Early television projections suggested the AKP, which won 34% of the vote in the general elections, would take over 40% in the local polls.

    Its nearest rival, the social democratic People's Republican Party (CHP), the only other party in parliament, was expected to win between 13% and 19% of the vote.

    Of the 18 other parties involved in the race, only the rightwing nationalist movement (MHP) and the centre-right True Path Party (DIY) might score more than 10% at the national level, according to early results.
     
    The AKP also won races for mayor in at least 42 cities, including Turkey's largest - Istanbul and Ankara. The CHP won at least four cities, including Izmir, the country's third largest.

    Turkey's main pro-Kurdish movement, the Democratic People's Party (DEHAP), which joined forces with several left-wing parties under the social-democrat people's party (SHP) banner, was expected to retain control of many municipalities in the Kurdish southeast.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    Strong quotes for Martin Luther King Jr Day

    Quotes from Martin Luther King Jr that resonate today

    Quotes of justice, education, religion and race said by MLK Jr.

    Bitcoin: Know the risks before you buy

    Bitcoin: All you need to know before you buy

    'Bitcoin is right now the riskiest investment you can make.' Here are the risks you should consider before you buy.