Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   16 January

Influential Turkish-Armenians congratulate Erdogan on re-election

YEREVAN, JUNE 25, ARMENPRESS. Representatives of the Armenian community of Turkey have congratulated President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AK party on the general election victory. Erdogan was re-elected president and his party, along with an alliance partner, won majority in parliament in the June 24 elections.

In particular, congratulations came from Archbishop Aram Ateshian, the patriarchal vicar of the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul, Bedros Şirinoğlu  - chairman of the board of trustees of the Holy Savior Armenian Hospital of Istanbul, and Archbishop Levon Zekiyan, Primate of the Armenian Catholic Community of Istanbul.

Turkey’s incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been re-elected, as 99% of ballots have been counted so far in the general elections.  Turkey held both presidential and parliamentary elections June 24.

Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported that Erdogan, leader of the AKP party, has garnered 52,5% of votes.

Erdogan’s main rival Muharrem İnce from CHP received 30,6%.

Selahattin Demirtas from HDP, who ran for presidency from prison, got 8,3%.

The parliamentary election resulted in the following composition – the ruling AKP will have 293 seats, CHP will have 146 seats, HDP will have 67 seats, the Nationalist Movement Party MHP will have 50 seats and the IYI party will have 44 seats.  The ruling AKP party ran in an alliance with MHP – the Nationalist Movement Party. Thus, Erdogan’s alliance will have 343 seats in the 600-seat parliament.

A record high turnout was recorded – 87,5%.

Speaking to a crowd of supporters after the results were announced early Monday from a balcony of Justice and Development (AKP) Party headquarters in capital Ankara, Erdogan said “every one of the 81 million Turkish citizens is a winner”, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.

"Winners of June 24 elections are Turkey, Turkish nation, sufferers of our region and all oppressed in the world," he said, according to Anadolu.

He also thanked Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader, members and voters.

"I would like to express my gratitude to my people, my brothers and sisters who put their trust in me, my alliance and my party," he said, according to Anadolu.

“Democracy is the winner of Sunday's presidential and parliamentary elections”, he said, noting that the results of the parliamentary elections aren’t what he expected.

After this re-election, Erdogan will have a lot more powers as the constitution has beefed-up the president’s authorities. These include: Directly appointing top public officials, including ministers and vice-presidents, the power to intervene in the country's legal system, the power to impose a state of emergency.

In addition to those changes, the job of prime minister will be scrapped.

The country is set to transition from a parliamentary system to a full presidential system.

Two Turkish-Armenian MPs have been re-elected to Turkey’s parliament in the June 24 general elections.

Garo Paylan from Diyarbakir (HDP) and Markar Esayan from Istanbul (AKP) have been re-elected to the 600-seat parliament of Turkey. The number of seats has been increased from 550 to 600 following the constitutional referendum.

Garo Paylan is known for his struggle for achieving the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by Turkey itself.  He even introduced a motion in the parliament to acknowledge the 1915 killings as genocide, but understandably it was denied as the country’s leadership is vehemently denying the historical fact.  Paylan is also known for his active engagement in the affairs of the local Armenian community of Istanbul, most notably in the Armenian Patriarchate matters.

He was even sanctioned for speaking about the Armenian Genocide from the parliament floor.

In addition, he is currently under investigation under the infamous Article 301 – an article of the criminal code seeking imprisonment for “insulting Turkey”.

But unlike Paylan, the other Turkish-Armenian parliamentarian, Markar Esayan, is a staunch supporter of the country’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and of the AKP.

Two other ethnic Armenian candidates for parliament – Ludmila Buyum from the HDP and Elmas Giragos from the IYI party – have failed to be elected according to preliminary results.

According to preliminary results, Turkey’s ruling party, the AKP, will have 295 seats in parliament.


Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan


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