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Turkish Kurds celebrate election gains

Monday, June 08, 2015 - 01:50

Turkish Kurds take to the streets as their party wins enough votes to enter parliament for the first time, while the ruling party is left unable to govern alone after the election. Yiming Woo reports.

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Turkey's Kurdish minority celebrate making history. The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party crossed a 10 percent threshold to enter parliament for the first time. It's now likely to play a significant role and try to advance a peace process between the Turkish state and the Kurdish militant group. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) PRO-KURDISH SUPPORTER, BARIS OZCAN, SAYING: "The winners are those who are oppressed, who stand for peace and fraternity. No matter how powerful the tyrants are, we are the ones celebrating the victory today as the oppressed." President Tayyip Erdogan's ruling party failed to win an outright majority for the first time since it came to power almost 13 years ago. Local media says it took about 40 percent of votes. It's now unable to govern alone, and faces weeks of difficult negotiations with coalition parties. Watched by hundreds of supporters, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says people can continue to trust the ruling party. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) PRIME MINISTER AHMET DAVUTOGLU, SAYING: "People have fulfilled their duty. We are grateful to them. Their willpower is above everything. But it should be known that every measure will be taken to prevent damage to people's stability and peace. People should remain in peace. People should look into the future with trust because the AK Party is Turkey's backbone and the AK Party is on duty." It had portrayed the election as a choice between a "new Turkey" and a return to a history marked by short-lived coalition governments and economic instability. In an unstable Middle East, the vote will be closely watched, as the path Turkey takes will have implications beyond its borders.

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Turkish Kurds celebrate election gains

Monday, June 08, 2015 - 01:50