Turkey headed for more elections after coalition talks break down

Turkey headed for more elections after coalition talks break down –

The Guardian – Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s efforts to forge a coalition alliance with the country’s pro-secular party have failed, edging Turkey closer to another round of elections.

Davutoğlu told reporters on Thursday that the two party leaders had not reached common ground for a power-sharing deal.

His Islamic-rooted ruling party, AKP, lost its majority in June elections, forcing it to seek a coalition alliance in order to remain in power. More elections are likely to be called if no government is formed by the end of next week.

The development means Turkey faces further political uncertainty at a time when the country is dealing with a sharp surge of violence and is taking a more front-line role in a US-led campaign against the Islamic State group.

The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, was reported to favour renewed elections later in the year, in the hope that the ruling party – which he founded – can regain parliamentary majority. Officials say the party’s grassroots are also opposed to a coalition with the pro-secular party.

Recent weeks have seen dozens killed in renewed clashes between Turkish security forces and Kurdish rebels, while Turkish jets have conducted air raids on Isis targets in Syria and Kurdish rebel positions in northern Iraq. On Wednesday, US jets launched their first air strikes against Isis targets in Syria from a key Turkish air base.

On Wednesday, Erdoğan spoke of the need for a strong rule and said Davutoğlu “would not commit suicide” if no coalition is formed.

Delegations from the ruling party and Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s secular party, CHP, have held a series of meetings in search of common grounds for a partnership despite their entrenched differences. Both sides said they reached consensus on many topics but news reports have claimed differences remain on key issues, including foreign policy, education and the role of the president.

Kılıçdaroğlu accused Erdoğan earlier this month of obstructing the coalition efforts.

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