On June 24, Turkish citizens flocked to the polls with 86.2 percent voter turnout — very impressive given the absence of a fair and free election. Despite an enthusiastic campaign, leading opposition candidate Muharrem Ince and other opposition candidates Meral Akşener and Temel Karamollaoğlu were not able to draw sufficient support away from incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, according to the High Election Board.
The parliamentary seats distribution is as follows: National Alliance (CHP and IYI Party) and the HDP will control 256, and the People’s Alliance (AKP and MHP) take 344 seats out of 600.
In an election campaign fraught with crackdowns on media, pressure on the independent judiciary and other unfair conditions, however, the government’s results are likely to be contested, in light of widespread reports of voting irregularities at polls across the country.
“The restrictions we have seen on fundamental freedoms have had an impact on these elections. The restrictive legal framework and powers granted under the ongoing state of emergency restricted the freedoms of assembly and expression, including in the media,” said OSCE observers in an initial report on the elections.
“Nonetheless, citizens demonstrated their commitment to democracy by participating in large numbers in campaign rallies and on the election day,” the report said.
On election day, social media was active with reports of pre-filled ballots, assault against election observers and threats of violence against voters in Southeast Turkey by armed individuals.
Shortly following elections, Erdoğan has been transferred sweeping new powers.