Turkey’s centrist Islamic party, the A.K.P., has won a majority of seats in the country’s parliamentary elections. With a 90 seat margin over its secular opposition, the A.K.P. is expected to follow through with constitutional reform long proposed by the government’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “Turkey’s current constitution dates from the early 1980s, coming after the ‘soft’ military coup that removed then-Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel from power.” Despite the win, many inside Turkey are concerned that reform will consolidate power in the hands of the Prime Minister.
What’s the Big Idea?
While Turkey accepts refugees from Syria, its own domestic politics are changing, though not in such a gruesome way. The parliamentary elections just held in the capital of Ankara were an affirmation for the ruling party, but for a country that curtails information flow by banning websites like YouTube—the site is not available anywhere in Turkey—and jailing journalists who oppose the government, the prospect of reform must be taken with a grain of salt. While the A.K.P. says it will work to create a coalition, proposed reform would consolidate executive power.