Turkey Votes- Ruling Islamic Party Takes Early Lead

Turkish Press reported: Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party is leading with 51.3 percent of the vote in Sunday’s legislative elections, with 25 percent of the vote counted, the CNN Turk news channel reported.

The Turkish secularist minority fears that the ruling Islamic party will impose Islamic rule on the country.

A small bomb exploded overnight outside an election bureau of the ruling party’s headquarters in Istanbul.

A portrait of Turkey’s Islamic-rooted Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is seen in the background as flags of some of the main Turkish political parties fly over a main street in Turkish capital of Ankara, Saturday July 21, 2007. More than 42 millions Turkish voters will elect 550 lawmakers in the general elections scheduled to be held on Sunday, July 22. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)


It is likely that secularist Turkey will choose Islamic party rulers today as voters line up to select a new parliament.
SABAH news from Turkey reported:

Turks voted for a new parliament on Sunday, faced with a choice between the ruling AK Party’s pro-business, religiously conservative policies and nationalist rivals keen to keep Islam out of politics…

Turkey, whose electorate numbers nearly 43 million out of a total population of 74 million, is one of the Muslim world’s few democracies. Some four million young voters are taking part in a national election for the first time.

“The AK Party has really helped the poor of this country. They distribute food, coal. They give money for our daughters to go to school,” said Huseyin Yilmaz, 34, an unemployed man living in a shanty town on the edge of the capital Ankara.

Erdogan, 53, Turkey’s most popular politician, called the poll months early after the secular elite, including the powerful army, stopped him appointing a fellow ex-Islamist, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, as president.

Secularists say the AK Party wants to undermine Turkey’s strict separation of religion and state, and although the ruling party denies this, the warning struck a chord with some voters.

Aproximately 1.5 million Turks rallied in the coastal city of Izmir, Turkey, on Sunday May 13, 2007, against the growing threat of Islamic rule on the secularist society.

Stones and sticks were flying today.
There are reports that 17 people were hurt in election violence:

Seventeen people were hurt Sunday in poll-related violence in Turkey as the mainly Muslim country held legislative elections, pitting the Islamist-rooted government against the secular opposition.

Two AKP workers were slightly injured, Anatolia said, and both sides pressed charges.

Three men were injured when two groups attacked each other with knives and sticks during voting at a polling station in Bismil, in the mainly Kurdish southeastern province of Diyarbakir, local officials said.

One of the men was badly wounded, Anatolia reported.

In the village of Buyukakoren, also in Diyarbakir, villagers and rival party workers fought after a man tried to help his illiterate wife to vote inside the polling booth.

Three villagers sustained knife wounds, and another three suffered head injuries from flying stones and sticks, officials said.

Captain’s Quarters reports on the implications of the results today.
Michelle Malkin is following the crucial elections.
Pajamas Media has a roundup on the election.

The Islamic ruling party wins the elections.

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