Archive | June 8th, 2015

Saddam Hussein’s Destiny Waiting for Zio-Wahhabi Gang

Saddam’s Destiny Waiting for Zio-Wahhabi family
An Egyptian political analyst underlined that a fate similar to the executed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is envisaged for the Zio-Wahhabi family.

“We resolutely ask Saudi Arabia and its (Arab) allies to immediately resort to a political solution (for a crisis in Yemen) and to disobey the US that encouraged Saddam Hussein in war with Iran and Kuwait… ,” Saeed al-Lavandi, political expert of Al-Ahram Political and Strategic Studies Center in Cairo, announced.

He recalled that US eventually ceased supporting the former Iraqi dictator and executed him, and said, “It seems that the US has the same plan for Saudi Arabia that will eventually lead to the Al Saud’s collapse.”

The political analyst blasted the continued Zio-Wahhabi-led aggression against Yemen.

He underlined that Nazi regime of I$raHell is benefiting the most from the ongoing regional crises, “‘Israel’ never dreamt to wreak havoc on the region without even a bullet fired from its soldiers’ guns… .”


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Turkey in Limbo as Voters Turn Against Erdogan’s Plans for More Powers

Turkey elections
Turkish politics is facing its most uncertain period for more than a decade after recent elections results left no party capable of forming a majority government, following a backlash against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his plans to reform the country’s constitution.

The national election has resulted in the biggest swing against Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) since it first came to power in 2002.

After 99 percent of vote counting, Erdogan’s AKP were still the country’s largest party, winning 41 percent of the vote, however this was well short of what was needed to form a majority government.

Political analysts have suggested that the swing against Erdogan was partly due to opposition to the AKP’s proposed reforms to change Turkey’s constitution, with plans to transfer greater powers to the president seen by many as a dangerous prospect that could lead towards authoritarian rule.

On top of criticism of the AKP’s proposed reforms, a recent dip in economic growth has also been seen by some as contributing to the backlash against Erdogan.

While the ruling AKP have lost ground since 2011, the election results have seen a significant rise in support for the new left party, the HDP, who are seen to largely represent the significant Kurdish minority in Turkey, with Kurds making up approximately 20 percent of the country’s population.

The official results, based on 99 percent of votes, has Erdogan’s AKP well in front with 41 percent, followed by the Republican People’s Party (CHP) on 25 percent, the rightwing Nationalist Movement Party on 16.5 percent and the Kurdish-backed HDP securing 13 percent of the vote.

The elections will see the four parties now elected into parliament, as they all passed the 10 percent threshold needed to enter.

Calls for New Elections as Coalition Talks Scrapped

The surprise results have left the country in unchartered territory given Turkey’s recent stability under Erdogan’s decade-long period of governance, with talk quickly turning to the prospect of a coalition government.

Incumbent president Erdogan has moved to quell concerns about Turkey’s political uncertainty, calling for cooperation between the country’s major parties, urging leaders to be “careful to preserve the environment of confidence and stability.”

“Our nation’s opinion is above everything else,” Erdogan said in a statement.

“I believe the results, which do not give the opportunity to any party to form a single-party government, will be assessed healthily and realistically by every party.”

Erdogan’s cooperative statements have been backed up by other members of the AKP, who have urged the other parties to try and work towards forming a coalition.

Supporters wave Turkish national and party flags outside the AK Party headquarters in Ankara, Turkey, June 7, 2015
Supporters wave Turkish national and party flags outside the AK Party headquarters in Ankara, Turkey, June 7, 2015

However, in a blow to Erdogan, any talk of forming a coalition has been scuppered by leaders of Turkey’s other parties.

Selahattin Demirtas, leader of the pro-Kurdish HDP party, which won 80 seats, says there is no chance of the party going into coalition with the the AKP.

“We have promised our people that we would not form an internal or external coalition with the AKP. We are clear on that.”

While the HDP’s opposition towards Erdogan’s party isn’t considered to be a surprise, perhaps more significantly, the nationalist MHP, who were thought to be the AKP’s best chance of forming a coalition government, have also ruled out talks, instead calling for another election.

MHP leader Devlet Bahceli said:

“Nobody has the right to sentence Turkey to an AKP minority government. Whenever there can be early elections, let them take place.”

Meanwhile, the republican CHP, who came second in the election with 25 percent of the vote have remained tightlipped on their plans for potentially forming government.

There have been calls for early elections if a government cannot be formed within the allotted 45 days.

Views on the Election: The Good and the Bad

The historic results of Turkey’s election has been met with a combination of positive and negative reactions from people both inside and outside of Turkey as people come to terms with the significance of the results.

There were wild celebrations in the majority-Kurdish city of Diyarbakir in south-eastern Turkey following the news of the HDP surpassing the 10 percent parliament threshold, while others, including EU chief Federica Mogherini, welcomed the results, saying they were a “clear sign of strength of the Turkish democracy.”

A woman looks at a ballot paper at a polling station during the parliamentary election in Konya, Turkey, June 7, 2015.
A woman looks at a ballot paper at a polling station during the parliamentary election in Konya, Turkey, June 7, 2015.

International Crisis Group analysts, Nigar Göksel and Hugh Pope, in delivering their review of the elections for Politico, said that the diverse results were partly due to the AKP’s “integral” role in promoting pluralism, but warned that recent perceptions of a heavy-handed government worked against the AKP.

“Ironically, it was also Erdogan’s increasing intolerance of dissent, epitomized in the crushing of the Gezi protests in Istanbul in May-June 2013, that created a sense of solidarity between many normally fractious factions of Turkish society — nationalists, Islamists, Kurds, secularists, and liberals — that set the stage for much of the activism that persuaded Turks to vote against him on Sunday.”

And while there has been positive reactions to the divided result, economists have noted how the election has led to some market jitters, with Turkey’s stock index falling by 8 percent and the lira falling to a new low against the US dollar.

David Stubbs, global market strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management, said that the uncertainty surrounding Turkey’s political situation “is really the last thing it needs.”

However, speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Erdinç Benli, co-head of the global emerging markets team at GAM said the results may have some long-term benefits.

“In the longer term, I think that it could be positive. Many had feared that President Erdogan was moving towards a presidential style government. That risk is now put aside for the time being.”

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Zio-Wahhabi regime Bribing Najran Sheikhs

Saudi Arabia Bribing Najran Sheikhs
Zio-Wahhabi regime Bribing Najran Sheikhs
Zio-Wahhabi Minister of the National Guard Mutaib bin Abdullah has sent gifts, worth several millions of Rials, to the Arab sheikhs in Najran in the Southeastern parts of the country to dissuade them from hosting and supporting Yemen’s Ansarullah movement.

Yemen’s Khabar news agency reported that Zio-Wahhabi CIA rat Mutaib has paid 1 mln Saudi rials (approximately $ 250 ) to each tribal leaders and sheikhs in Najran along with an appreciation letter to keep them on Zio-Wahhabi side.

Zio-Wahhabi activists have released documents showing one-million-rial checks sent for Hossein Mahdi al-Haidar, Massoud Bin Mahdi al-Haidar, Sal Ibn Naji and others who are among the Nijran leaders.

The report came after the Yemeni army and tribal forces attacked military positions in Najran, in Southeastern Saudi Arabia, near the two countries’ borders on Monday.


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Zio-Wahhabi New Policy Puts Al Saud Survival in Danger

Zio-Wahhabi New Policy Puts Al Saud Survival in Danger
Gary Sick, an American scholar at Columbia University, said that Saudi Arabia’s new muscular foreign policy stems from naivety of the new rulers, stressing that such an aggressive stance will threaten Al Saud’s survival.

In an article published by the Politico Magazine, Gary Sick wrote, “… the new regime almost immediately launched a military initiative in Yemen that will likely come back to haunt it and may set in motion forces that threaten its very survival.”

He added, “The new crown prince, the King’s nephew Mohammed bin Nayef, is fifty-five and the deputy crown prince—the King’s favorite son Mohammed bin Salman—is about thirty. These two not only command the line of succession but also, via two new super-committees, are in charge of virtually every major institution in the Kingdom (with the key exception of the National Guard). The younger generation has gone almost instantly from being princes-in-waiting to controlling the main elements of power in the Kingdom.”

Gary Sick, who also served on the National Security Council under Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, added Saudi Arabia spends more per capita on its military and security forces than virtually any other country in the world, but that very expensive instrument had seldom been put to the test. The decision to build an international coalition and launch a full-fledged air campaign against Yemen was a remarkable departure.


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Erdogan Suffers Setback




Image result for Erdogan CARTOON
Erdogan Suffers Setback
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has dominated Turkey for over a decade first as premier and now as president, has suffered the worst election setback of his career in legislative polls amid increasing controversy over his polarizing rule.

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) co-founded by Erdogan won the most votes in Sunday’s elections but lost its absolute majority in parliament for the first time since it came to power in 2002.

The result has scuttled Erdogan’s plan to push through the constitutional changes he yearns for to create a presidential system that would give him greater powers.

Erdogan, 61, who served as premier from 2003 and then became president in 2014, is lauded by his supporters as a transformative figure who modernized Turkey and handed power back to the people.

His vast new $615 million presidential palace on the outskirts of Ankara, slammed by the opposition as an absurd extravagance, has become a symbol of his perceived aloofness and authoritarianism.

During the election campaign Erdogan was more divisive than ever, showing no mercy in attacks on opponents and telling foreign media who criticized him to “know your limits”.

With an eye on his legacy, Erdogan wants to be ranked alongside Turkey’s post-Ottoman founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk as one of its great transformative figures and could stay in power to 2024.

A towering figure of almost two meters tall with a notoriously fiery temper, he is known to himself and followers as the “buyuk usta” – the “big master” – or simply as “the Sultan”.


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Erdogan’s Party Weighs Options after Election Blow



Turkey’s Islamic-rooted ruling party on Monday weighed its future strategy after losing its absolute parliament majority for the first time since winning power 13 years ago, in a stunning election setback for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) won the biggest portion of the vote in Sunday’s legislative polls but came well short of a majority in seats due to a breakthrough showing by the the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP).

Erdogan — who has dominated Turkey as premier from 2003-2014 and as now president — had been urging the AKP to win a crushing majority to create a presidential system with him at the top.

Following AKP’s stunning defeat, the country faced weeks of political uncertainty and early elections were a real possibility, Turkish opposition and anti-government newspapers agreed Monday.

“Three possibilities,” said the Hurriyet daily in its headline, saying there could be a coalition, a minority AKP government or early elections.

“A new era,” said the headline in the Milliyet daily. “The collapse,” added the strongly anti-Erdogan Sozcu. “Voters showed Tayyip the red card.”

The pro-government Yeni Safak said early elections were the most likely option. “The possibilities of a coalition are weak and an early election is on the horizon,” it said.

Official results based on 99.99 percent of votes counted put the AKP on 41 percent, followed by the Republican People’s Party (CHP) on 25 percent, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on 16.5 percent and the HDP in fourth place with 13 percent.

Turnout stood at 86.5 percent.

The result marked a major drop in support for the AKP — which in the last polls in 2011 won almost 50 percent of the vote — against the background of a weakening economy.

According to official projections, the AKP will have 258 seats in the 550-seat parliament, the CHP 132, and the MHP and HDP 80 apiece.

The results wrecked Erdogan’s dream of agreeing a new constitution to switch Turkey from a parliamentary to a presidential system that he had made a fundamental issue in the campaign.

Such a change would have required a two-thirds majority in the parliament and just months before the election Erdogan had been targeting 400 seats for the AKP.

Erdogan has yet to react to the vote and his official schedule Monday showed no planned public appearance.

Analysts have seen the nationalist MHP as the most likely coalition partner for the AKP in the new parliament.

However while not firmly closing the door on the option, the MHP’s leader Devlet Bahceli was hardly effusive, saying the results represented the “beginning of the end for the AKP”.

“We have entered a difficult period in terms of the political balance,” said Yeni Safak’s influential pro-government commentator Abdulkadir Selvi, warning against a “drift into chaos” such as in the 80s and 90s.

Speaking from the balcony of AKP headquarters in Ankara — the traditional place for the party’s victory speeches — Prime Minister and party leader Ahmet Davutoglu put a brave face on the results.

“The winner of the election is again the AKP, there’s no doubt,” he said.

– See more at:

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Will voters reject Turkey’s ‘precious loneliness’?


Beginning of end of Erdogan era?

Although Recep Tayyip Erdogan will hold on to the presidency whatever the outcome of the June 7 elections for Turkey’s General National Assembly, or parliament, a strong showing by the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) could signal the beginning of a shift away from Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party’s (AKP), including its sectarian and divisive foreign policy since the start of the Arab Spring in 2011.

Semih Idiz writes that “given his blatantly authoritarian tendencies, many Turks are worried about the prospect that Erdogan may have his way if the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which he once headed and whose ‘spiritual leader’ he remains, should win a major victory. Many outside Turkey, particularly in the West, having observed Erdogan’s abrasive manner in dealing with international matters, and the overtly Islamist and anti-Western tone he employs, are concerned about the direction Turkey’s foreign policy will take in such an event.”

Cengiz Candar reports that a media ban on election reporting in Turkey may have obscured progress by the HDP heading into the election.

“All of the figures [from recent polls] indicate that the pro-Kurdish HDP succeeded in attracting the Turkish left, religiously conservative Kurds who had voted for the AKP in the 2002, 2007 and 2011 elections, and disaffected liberals who had voted for the AKP or the CHP in the past,” Candar writes.

Candar explains that if the HDP, under the leadership of Selahattin Demirtas, obtains 10% of the vote, the threshold required to seat the candidates in parliament, the trend might signal “at least the beginning of the end of the Erdogan era.”

Idiz traces the shift in Erdogan’s foreign policies since 2011, which has led to Turkey’s increased isolation in both the West and the Middle East:

“Following the Arab Spring, Ankara’s foreign policy calculus has been based increasingly on an Islamist outlook with heavy Sunni leanings. Up until then, Turkey appeared to be forging a visionary foreign policy based not only on deepening its democratic ‘European perspective,’ as a candidate for EU membership, but also on developing ties with the Islamic world that suggested it could be a model for the Arab world by proving that secular democracy and Islam are compatible.”

“Meanwhile, Arab regimes that managed to ride out the Arab Spring were increasingly annoyed with Erdogan for his advocacy of the Muslim Brotherhood, which they see as a threat to their own movements. … The support Saudi Arabia and other Arab regimes gave to the coup in Egypt in 2013 was the first shock to Erdogan, still prime minister at the time. … Turkey became an unwanted interloper in the affairs of Arab countries, which is where it largely stands today despite some recent efforts to reset ties with regional countries, most notably with Saudi Arabia. … During the same period, Ankara’s abandoning of its traditional nonsectarian position in favor of blatantly pro-Sunni policies from Iraq to Yemen also clouded Ankara’s ties with Iran, which remain frosty today. In the meantime, Ankara’s Islamist orientation and the strong anti-Western positions taken by Erdogan had already resulted in Turkey’s alienating its traditional Western partners and allies.”

Idiz adds, “The AKP government has tried to put a positive spin on this state of affairs for the sake of its Islamist grassroots supporters. It claims it is pursuing an ethical foreign policy, even if this has resulted in what it refers to as ‘precious loneliness.’ The connotation is that Turkey is isolated today for the right reasons, because it has been taking moral stances on international issues that do not suit cynically calculating regional and global powers. This may appear to be a good stance for AKP supporters. There is, however, little that is ‘precious’ about this isolation that left Ankara with little say in regional developments, even where these have had serious fallout effects on Turkey. This is clearly seen in the fact that radical groups like the Islamic State (IS) or Jabhat al-Nusra are at Turkey’s doorsteps today, while the massive influx of refugees from Syria continue to pose serious social problems for Turks.”

IS threatens Iraqi Kurdistan from within

The Kurdistan Region of Iraq, often considered a firewall against Islamic radicalization in the Middle East, is increasingly threatened by Islamic State (IS) from within as well as outside the region’s borders.

Last month, Iraqi Kurdish security forces captured a terrorist group linked to IS planning a deadly attack in Erbil.

Denise Natali explains that the terrorist cell should be understood as part of a broader trend, not as a one-off or isolated incident.

“The local roots of the plotters — as well as previous ones — indicates IS’ societal reach beyond the front lines of Iraq’s disputed territories. The terrorist group has been able to feed off and radicalize Kurds not only through extreme Salafist ideology but deep grievances tied to economic and political conditions inside the Kurdistan Region of Iraq,” she writes.

“IS has also targeted the Kurdistan Region by recruiting and radicalizing Kurdish youth. According to the KRG Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs, at least 500 Iraqi Kurdish youths have thus far joined IS to fight on the battleground in Mosul and Syria. One vehicle of local recruitment is the Kurdish mosques, and through local extremist Salafist clerics. Two of the most influential of these cleric-recruiters are Imam Gailani from Sulaimaniyah and Mullah Shwan, a well-known cleric linked to a mosque in Erbil under the auspices of the KRG’s Ministry of Religious Endowments. Shwan’s defection to IS was particularly shocking because he was considered a moderate religious leader and friend to the KRG Ministry of Religious Endowments.

Natali adds that the radicalization trend in Iraqi Kurdistan is not new, and is “as much politically and economically inspired as it is ideologically motivated. It became salient before and during the Kurdish civil war (1994-98), when disaffected individuals and radicalized Islamists took advantage of the power vacuum to expand their influence. Some joined the Islamic Movement of Kurdistan while others turned to the mosques in Erbil where “night classes” were being conducted and in which extremist cells took root — the precursors to Ansar al-Islam. It is during this period that the term ‘teachers by day, terrorists by night’ became popularized and referred to the average local people, including university professors, who became part of the radicalized groups.”

Soleimani: US “didn’t do a damn thing” to stop IS

Iranian leaders have given even greater priority to the threat to Iran from IS following recent gains by the terrorist group in Iraq and Syria.

Abbas Qaidaari writes this week that Iran has increased both its words and its actions in response to IS advances.

On June 2, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, said in Latakia, Syria, “The world will be surprised by what we and the Syrian military leadership are preparing for the coming days.”

That same day Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Iran “will stand by the Syrian nation to the end of the crisis”; he spoke at a meeting in Tehran with Syrian parliament Speaker Mohammad Jihad al-Laham.

Iran has reportedly sent 15,000 fighters to Syria to assist the Syrian armed forces following recent military gains by IS and other armed groups opposed to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The militia force will include Iranians, Iraqis and Afghanis, according to reports. Backed by the newly arriving fighters, the Syrian government will likely give priority to retaking contested territory around Damascus and Jisr al-Shughur.

As IS has gained momentum in both Syria and Iraq, Soleimani said May 26 that Iran is left to carry the fight to IS because the United States “didn’t do a damn thing” to prevent the IS takeover of Ramadi.

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New Zio-Wahhabi fatwa: Muslims may eat their wives


Another wahabbi’s garbage?  Just the title of this ‘fatwa’ put me off reading
‘he said, she said…’ rant.  Only idiots with a brain of a gnat would believe
this filth…straight to the trash can.


According to several Middle East newspapers, the Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh has created a sensation after he issued a new fatwa which permits a man to eat his wife in the event that he is afflicted with a severe hunger and fear of starving. He can now, according to Sharia, Islamic law, eat parts of her body, or eat the flesh so that his hunger is satisfied.The Mufti of Saudi Arabia said that this is evidence of the sacrifice of women and obedience to her husband and her desire to become one with his body.

This fatwa created a sensation on the social networks and in particular on Twitter, in which the Saudis are active users. Many have expressed shock over this fatwa, calling it cannibalism.

The Mufti also issued a fatwa a few weeks ago which said that marriage of minors under the age of 15 years is permissible, stressing that so far intentions to discuss the issue do not exist.

The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia is the head of Sharia Law, and the fatwas he issues are to be followed by Muslims around the world.

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Turkish election outcome is blow to Erdoğan and breakthrough for Kurds


President’s behaviour during campaign was exceptionally boorish and he appears to have been punished for it at the polls

Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks at an election rally in Ankara. Photograph: Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images

The mould-breaking outcome of Turkey’s general election on Sunday will be viewed as a personal rebuff for the president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and as a historic political breakthrough for the country’s 18 million-strong Kurdish minority, which will be represented by a political party in parliament for the first time.

With 88% of votes counted, the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP), which Erdoğan helped to found, appeared to have lost its overall majority, falling just short of the 276 seats required for control of the 550-seat national assembly. Its share of the vote, at around 43%, was well down on the 49% it obtained in 2011.

The AKP had aimed for a total of at least 330 seats, which would have enabled the government to hold a referendum on the constitutional changes that Erdoğan needs in order to create an executive presidency. Erdoğan personally travelled the country trying to boost the AKP vote.

But concerns about a slowing economy, jobs, civil rights and a lack of progress in the Kurdish peace process appear to have combined with worries that Erdoğan could assume quasi-dictatorial powers to thwart the president’s ambitions.

Erdoğan, a three-time prime minister who has wielded power since 2002, now faces the prospect of continuing in the largely ceremonial post of president, to which he was elected last year, while real executive power is in the hands of his protege Ahmet Davutoğlu, the current prime minister.

Parliamentary democracy in Turkey was also a big winner as the pro-Kurdish, secular centre-left grouping, the People’s Democratic party (HDP), appeared to slip past the mandatory 10% threshold for representation with about 11% of the vote. Projections suggested that total would translate into about 74 seats.

This result gives Turkey’s Kurds and the other voters who deserted the AKP and flocked to the HDP banner an unprecedented national platform from which to counter the neo-Islamist AKP’s assault on Turkey’s secular tradition, which has gathered pace in recent years.

The peace process that followed the 2013 ceasefire with the Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK) may now also receive a much-needed shot in the arm, after a recent period of stalemate and sporadic violence.

But much depends on how Erdoğan, still the most formidable figure in Turkish politics, reacts to this reverse. The president is not known as a good loser, and he is certainly unaccustomed to defeat.

Rumours abounded before the polls that he was planning a new crackdown on journalists and other opponents who criticised him during the campaign. AKP officials spoke of holding another election if they were forced to form a minority government.

Even by his shaky standards, Erdoğan’s behaviour during the campaign was exceptionally boorish. As president, he is expected to adopt a neutral stance. Instead, he barnstormed across the country holding rallies in support of the AKP. The results thus look like a very personal rejection.

Erdoğan directed insults, accusations and threats at his political opponents, female activists, the media, non-Muslims, and ethnic and cultural minorities of all descriptions.

Last week Erdoğan dismissed the HDP as a party of gay people and atheists, a description apparently designed to pander to the prejudices of the AKP’s largely poor, devoutly Muslim working class base. He suggested the HDP supported terrorism and was in league with the PKK.

Erdoğan notably failed to condemn more than 70 reported violent attacks on the HDP’s candidates, rallies and offices. After bombs killed two people and wounded more than 200 at an HDP rally in Diyarbakir, in the mainly Kurdish south-east, on Friday, Selahattin Demirtas, the HDP leader, condemned Erdoğan’s silence.

“He should go to Diyarbakir. Is he not the president of 77 million people? He ought to leave flowers where people were killed,” Demirtas said in Istanbul. Erdoğan later offered condolences but said it was Demirtas who should apologise over Syria-related violence last October.

Erdoğan has also been engaged in a vicious slanging match with opposition media, accusing reporters and commentators who criticise him of being part of a conspiracy to undermine Turkey.

This is a familiar Erdoğan tactic. He often blames developments he dislikes on the so-called “parallel state” supposedly made up of traitors, misfits and miscreants, more often than not in league with Fethullah Gülen, an exiled former ally and fellow Islamist with whom he is now involved in a long-running feud. But this time it seems the ruse didn’t work.

Even allowing for the heightened emotions of a general election campaign, Erdoğan’s extreme behaviour has served to intensify doubts about his reliability and dependability both within Turkey and beyond.

Turkey under Erdoğan has proved a most reluctant ally in the US-Nato fight against Islamic State. It has played a double game over Syria. Its EU accession talks are at a standstill after Erdoğan repeatedly insisted Turkey does not need Europe.

Erdoğan has fallen out with regional leaders from Baghdad to Jerusalem to Cairo. Meanwhile, he has pursued closer ties with Vladimir Putin – a man who, like him, has dictatorial tendencies.

As Sunday’s results confirmed, Erdoğan had a bad campaign and was punished for it. His divisive behaviour was rejected by voters and rebounded on him. He emerges a weakened and diminished figure, with his reputation and influence much reduced.









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Turkey election: ruling party loses majority as pro-Kurdish HDP gains seats


Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development party wins 41% of vote – meaning it will need a coalition partner to form a government

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan casts his vote at a polling station in Istanbul
 The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, casts his vote at a polling station in Istanbul. Photograph: Lefteris Pitarakis/AP

 in Istanbul and 

Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has suffered his biggest setback in 13 years of amassing power as voters denied his ruling party a parliamentary majority for the first time since 2002 and gave the country’s large Kurdish minority its biggest voice ever in national politics.

The election result on Sunday, with almost all votes counted, appeared to wreck Erdoğan’s ambition of rewriting the constitution to establish himself as an all-powerful executive president. Erdoğan’s governing Justice and Development party, or AKP, won the election comfortably for the fourth time in a row, with around 41% of the vote, but that represented a steep fall in support from 49% in 2011, throwing the government of the country into great uncertainty.

The vote was the first time in four general elections that support for Erdoğan decreased. The fall coupled with an election triumph for a new pro-Kurdish party meant it was unlikely that the AKP would be able to form a majority government, forcing it to negotiate a coalition, probably with extreme nationalists, or to call a fresh election if no parliamentary majority can be secured within six weeks.

The new party, the HDP or Peoples’ Democratic party, largely representing the Kurds but also encompassing leftwing liberals, surpassed the steep 10% threshold for entering parliament to take more than 12% of the vote and around 80 seats in the 550-strong chamber.

The HDP victory denied Erdoğan’s party its majority. Erdoğan campaigned to secure a minimum of 330 seats in the parliament, a three-fifths majority that would have enabled him to call a referendum on the constitution with a view to converting Turkey into a presidential rather than a parliamentary system. But the AKP appeared unlikely to muster even a simple 276-seat majority.

Kurds celebrate the success of the pro-Kurdish HDP party.

 Kurds celebrate the success of the pro-Kurdish HDP party. Photograph: Aurore Belot/Corbis

“We expect a minority government and an early election,” a senior AKP official told Reuters.

The prime minister and nominal head of the AK party, Ahmet Davutoglu, had promised to resign if he failed to obtain a simple parliamentary majority. With internal dissent rumbling in recent weeks within the government ranks and at the top of the AKP, the poor result for Erdoğan is likely to embolden dissenters and could spark a power stuggle.

The atmosphere outside the AKP’s headquarters in Ankara was muted. Several hundred supporters chanted for Erdoğan, the party’s founder, but there was little sign of the huge crowds that gathered after past election victories.

In the conservative district of Tophane, an AKP stronghold in Istanbul, only a couple of men were sitting in a local teahouse to follow Davutoglu’s balcony speech.

“I am not unhappy,”, said Nusret Aksoy, 50. “The AKP came out the strongest party by far.” Pointing at the TV screen, he added: “Look, do these crowds seem unhappy to you? They are not. These elections were good and democratic.”

He added that he was satisfied that the HDP managed to get into parliament: “The people gave them a chance to prove themselves. Now they have to show everyone what they are really made of, that they are not just talking, but also capable of delivering.”

By contrast, thousands of jubilant Kurds flooded the streets of the south-eastern city of Diyarbakir as the results came in. Erdoğan had repeatedly lashed out at the HDP and its charismatic leader, Selahattin Demirtaş, before the election. Demirtaş promptly ruled out a coalition with the AKP.

“This result shows that this country has had enough. Enough of Erdoğan and his anger,” said Seyran Demir, a 47-year-old housewife who was among the thousands who gathered in the streets around the HDP’s provincial headquarters. “I am so full of joy that I can’t speak properly.”

In Istanbul, enthused crowds chanted “we are the HDP, we will be in parliment” outside the press conference Demirtaş held in Istanbul on Sunday night.

“I am so happy,” said Bülent Aras, 40. “This means that there will be peace, the war is over. This party represents everyone. We will finally all be equal in Turkey. This will put an end to the corruption.” He added that he was not surprised about the results. “We expected to do well. It was time for change.”

“I had hoped for this to happen,” said 61-year-old painter Mehmet Hakki Sabancali. “I was so nervous that the HDP might not get 10%. This rings in a new Turkey. The HDP will do away with old taboos: with LBGT rights, gay marriage, conscientious objection and non-Muslim minorities.”

As head of state since last August following a triple term as prime minister, Erdoğan was not on the ballot. But the election was, in effect, a referendum on whether to give his office extraordinary powers that would significantly change Turkish democracy and prolong his reign as the country’s most powerful politician.

Injured man casts vote in Diyarbakir

 A man who was wounded during an attack on an HDP rally on Friday casts his vote in Diyarbakir. Photograph: Ilyas Akengin/AFP/Getty Images

Voters roundly rejected that ambition, with the Kurdish vote in particular swinging the election against the incumbents on an unprecedented scale. The 10% hurdle, dating from the military-authored constitution of 1980, had been intended in part to diminish Kurdish representation in the parliament.

The HDP gambled on breaking the built-in disadvantage and triumphed. If it had fallen short of 10%, it would have forfeited all seats.

Erdoğan’s divide-and-rule strategy of rallying his religious-conservative base has led to increasing polarisation in Turkey, and in some cases to violence.

In the runup to the election, the HDP reported more than 70 attacks on election offices and campaigners across the country. On Friday, two bombs exploded at an election rally in Diyarbakir, killing three and wounding hundreds of others.

Official results based on 99.9% of votes counted gave the AKP 41%, followed by the Republican People’s party (CHP) on 25%, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on 16.5% and the HDP in fourth place with 13%.

Turnout was at 86%.

“This is the end of identity politics in Turkey,” said Gencer Özcan, professor for international relations at Bilgi University in Istanbul. “The election threshold is not the only barrier that was overcome tonight in the elections, but also emotional and identity barriers have been breached. This is a golden opportunity for the HDP. Voters in Turkey endorse democracy in Turkey across identity boundaries.”

The HDP ran on a platform defending the rights of ethnic minorities, women, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. In a polling station in the predominantly Kurdish suburb of Dolapdere in Istanbul, Hacer Dinler, 25, said that she had high hopes for the HDP.

“If they make it into parliament, everything will be better,” she said. “We will have more MPs to speak for us, which in turn will strengthen the peace process.”

The HDP success marked a sea-change likely to have a big impact on national politics. Shackled by the high threshold, pro-Kurdish candidates had previously run as independents in single seats to try to beat the 10% party barrier. But the HDP also successfully sought to reach beyond Turkey’s roughly 20% Kurdish population, attempting to woo centre-left and secular voters disillusioned with Erdoğan.

HDP supporters celebrate

 Supporters of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic party (HDP) celebrate in Diyarbakir. Photograph: Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images

“The reason the HDP has won this many votes is because it has not excluded any members of this country, unlike our current rulers,” said 25-year-old Siar Senci. “It has embraced all languages, all ethnicities and members of all faiths and promised them freedom.”

The secularist Republican People’s party will be the second biggest group in parliament. Murat Karayalçin, the party’s Istanbul chairman, said the outcome was a “clear no” to the executive presidential system championed by Erdoğan.

The rightwing MHP, long seen as the AKP’s most likely partner if it tried to form a coalition government, took close to 17% of the vote. The deputy chairman, Oktay Vural, said on Sunday it was too early for him to say whether it would consider forming a coalition government with the AKP. “It would be wrong for me to make an assessment about a coalition, our party will assess that in the coming period. I think the AK party will be making its own new evaluations after this outcome,” Vural said.

The high stakes of this year’s parliamentary elections mobilised a large majority of the population to vote. Aliye Goga, 39, a woman of Armenian descent, said it was the first time she had voted. “I just never saw the point before,” she explained. “Now my eyes have opened up. The HDP is the only party for women in this country, and they make realistic promises.”

Leyla Çelik, 38, a part-time student voting in Istanbul’s conservative Fatih district, hoped the AKP would continue in power. “This government has exceeded all my expectations. We have good healthcare, and women can go to school and university with a headscarf. They are a party that treats us like human beings.”

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