Turkish Elections Boost PM

Islamist-rooted, pro-EU ruling party sees mandate in results
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2007 6:00 PM CDT
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his wife Emine Erdogan greet their supporters outside of the party headquarters in Ankara, Turkey, late Sunday, July 22, 2007. Turkey's Islamic-rooted ruling...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Turkey’s ruling party dominated parliamentary elections today despite its perceived threat to the nation’s entrenched secularism. The elections were moved up after the secular opposition foiled PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan's attempt to install an ex-Islamist ally as president. The results, seen as a mandate for the AKP, also raise the risk of increased conflict, Reuters reports.

Erdogan’s agenda includes continued economic reform and Turkey’s inclusion in the EU. Turkey’s currency moved 2% higher against the dollar on the results, but opponents criticize the party’s Islamic ties and EU-backed policies. The new government will have to appease the secular-minded army and decide whether forces should suppress Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq.