News Tip: Turks Vote for Political Authority, Economic Stability, Expert Says

Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Turkey resulted in an outcome that few commentators or polls had predicted

The Nov. 1 parliamentary elections in Turkey resulted in an outcome that few commentators or polls had predicted: Another outright parliamentary majority for President Erdoğan’s ruling AK Party (AKP). •    Quotes: “In the almost five months since the AKP lost its parliamentary majority on June 7 (2015) -- and was thereafter unable to form a coalition -- the AKP launched a highly calculated and risky strategy for re-election that paid off,” says Erdağ Göknar, director of the Duke University Middle East Studies Center. “Helping it in this regard were the effects of attacks within Turkish borders by PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) insurgents and ISIS.”“The message was clear: The burning and looting of HDP (pro-Kurdish, liberal) political party headquarters, suicide bombings and PKK attacks presented Turkish citizens with a scenario of violence and instability that would await them should an AKP majority give way to a power-sharing government. In the end, Turks cast votes for a platform of political authority and economic stability rather than for ideals of democracy and freedom.”“The AKP’s first order of business will be to change the constitution that was first put in place after the 1980 military coup. They will have to work with other parties to do so, and this may even mean a return to Kurdish reconciliation.”Bio: Erdağ Göknar is an associate professor of Turkish & Middle Eastern Studies at Duke University, and director of the Duke Middle East Studies Center. He specializes in Turkish cultural studies (literature, history and politics); Eurasian and Middle Eastern politics of representation; Islam and secularism. He is also a contributor to ISLAMiCommentary. •    Archive video interview (different subject): additional comment, contact Göknar