Turkey’s Islamist ruling party, the Justice and Development Party (AKP), led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, lost its absolute majority in the parliamentary elections held on proportional representation basis. According to official projections, the AKP will have 258 seats in the 550-seat parliament, the Republican Peoples Party, CHP(132), The Nationalist Movement Party, (MHP) and The Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) 80 apiece. The AKP had been in power since 2003 under the dynamic leadership of Erdogan who served the country as Prime Minister for two consecutive terms. He brought the country out of its economic woes before taking over as President in 2014. The Turks had been jittery over certain steps taken by the AKP in the context of religion during the second term of its government. They never shied away from expressing their dismay in the streets over decisions taken with a strong tinge of religion by the AKP government. A two third majority could have given him the power to transform the parliamentary system to the presidential one as was pledged by him during the elections. The electorate has finally expressed its democratic right to disagree with his plans to bring any fundamental changes in the constitution.

The AKP can, however, still maintain its hold over power if it can successfully form a coalition government. Turkey’s democracy has had its highs and lows since 1960 when the military took over the reins of power and has been disrupting the system off and on since then. The strong belief of the people of Turkey in a democratic system always prevailed and now it seems that it has come of age. Although the political pundits are predicting days of turmoil ahead, it is expected that the country and the political parties will be able to handle the situation skilfully.

The Kemalist Turkey has the distinction of being the first ever modern democracy in Muslim history. Ataturk has been an ideal leader of our Quaid Mohammad Ali Jinnah as both were committed to employ democracy based upon equal rights to the citizens without any kind of discrimination based upon cast, creed and religion. It is very distressing that most of the Muslim world is still being ruled by dictatorial forces which have even pushed their populace into sectarian strife to maintain their unjust rule. It would be apt if they also follow the democratic paradigms of both the leaders of the modern Muslim era and give the same rights to their people as well.