Turkish Election of November 2002 and the Rise of 'Moderate' Political Islam
By Omer Caha
Turkish general election of November 3, 2002 seems to open a new page in Turkish political landscape. It is the first time, since 1954, that only two parties have succeeded to share the seats in the parliament. Despite the Proportional Representative System, which renders possible the representation of even small parties in parliament, sixteen parties failed to pass the 10 percent national threshold. This means that almost 45 percent of votes have not been represented in the parliament due to the 10 percent national threshold. One of the most surprising results of this election is the erosion in the voter support of the political parties that had taken part in governments in the last two decades of Turkish politics preceding the elections. Another significant result of this election is the Justice and Development Party's (Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi-AKP) astonishing triumph with 34.2 percent of popular vote and 363 seats out of 550 in the parliament.
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