Arab react to Turkish elections

Arab react to Turkish elections
The Turkish elections and their results prompted fierce debate on twitter and showed a deeply polarised online community.
2 min read
08 Jun, 2015
Pro-Kurdish HDP supporters celebrate in the streets [Getty/AFP]
Turkish voters headed to the polls on Sunday to vote in crunch legislative elections that dealt a severe blow to strongman President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist-leaning ruling party.

Erdogan’s party the Justice and Development Party [AKP] won only 41 percent of the most-closely fought elections since the party came to office 13 years ago, crushing Erdogan’s hopes of a victory that would allow it to change the constitution and hand him broad presidential powers.

A new kid on the block, the left-wing pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party [HDP] has sensationally shaken up the country’s political landscape, surpassing the 10 percent mark needed for MPs to go to parliament with a strong showing in Kurdish majority areas in the east.

The AKP has come under much scrutiny over the years over its commitment to the secular principles laid down in the Turkish constitution, many critics have accused it of secretly supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and for having Neo-Ottoman aspirations.

Many Arabs have looked intently on at the elections as a gauge for the effectiveness of political Islam, after the Muslim Brotherhood’s demise in Egypt following the 2013 military coup that ousted the country’s first elected president.

Bahraini Twitter user Ammar al-Hassan tweeted,

Translation: The common thing between all the people celebrating the AKP’s poor performance in the Turkish election is a hatred of political or non-political Islam. It’s a conflict between Islam and secularism.

Ahmad Hamid said,

Translation: The AKP hasn’t won a majority but this has put Turkey on the path towards peace within its society with Kurds coming into parliament.

Saudi Omar bin Abd al-Aziz tweeted,

Translation: The Arabs who are saying Erdogan’s party has lost have been traumatized and think winning elections has to be by 98 percent or higher.

Qatari Issa Mohammad Ishaq said,

Translation: The AKP may have lost their majority in parliament in the elections but the Turkish people have won by using democracy to speak their mind freely.

Khalid al-Bahlal said,

Translation: The most important lesson to be learn from the Turkish elections is the Islamists can be rivalled and beaten through the ballot box and they can accept that and not resort to violence. The future looks bright for everyone. 

Saudi Mansour al-Shammari said,

Translation: It seems as if the Muslim Brotherhood its research institutions are more concerned with the Turkish elections than the Turks themselves.