|Turkish voters give Islamists solid majority
Matthew Fisher, The Ottawa Citizen
Monday, July 23, 2007
ISTANBUL, Turkey - In a sharp rebuke to Turkey's unswervingly secular generals, the country's 42 million voters returned an Islamist party to power with a strong majority yesterday.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) received nearly 47 per cent of the vote -- up from 34 per cent in 2002. This will translate into a comfortable majority for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose party elected about 340 deputies to the 550-seat parliament.
It was the largest support a Turkish party has gained since the 1969 legislative election.
"We've passed a very important test of democracy that is an example to the world," Mr. Erdogan said during a victory speech in Ankara.
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© The Ottawa Citizen 2007