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Erdogan seeks national unity

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday called on political parties to urgently form a new government within the constitutional process.

In his first public appearance since the June 7 parliamentary elections, Erdogan said in a televised speech that everyone should put their egos aside and that history would judge anyone who endangered Turkey, Xinhua news agency reported.

Initial results show that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost its majority in the parliamentary polls on Sunday.

“I invite all political parties to remain levelheaded and assume responsibility for the country’s future, and to get through this period intact,” he said.

The election results reflected Turkey’s national will and everybody should respect it, Erdogan said.

The AKP, which Erdogan co-founded, was targeting a two-thirds majority win of seats, but got only 258 seats, according to initial results.

Other parties that cleared the 10 percent threshold are the Kemalist Republican People’s Party (CHP), with 132 seats, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP)with 81 seats, and the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) with 79 seats.

The final results are scheduled to be released around June 19.

Under the constitution, if the AKP fails to form a coalition government, the second largest party in the elections, the CHP, may negotiate with the MHP and HDP to form a minority government.

If no government is formed within 45 days since authorisation by the president, a new round of elections will be called.

On Wednesday, CHP legislator and former leader, Deniz Baykal, was invited to meet with Erdogan, but Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told the media later that the impromptu meeting was not about the formation of a coalition.

“Our president is not involved in coalition talks… It is erroneous to consider him part of these talks. That would be against the nature of politics,” Davutoglu said. “The presidency is an institution to assist overcoming impasses.”

Both the HDP and the MHP have ruled out joining a coalition government with the AKP.

Selahattin Demirtas, co-chair of HDP, said on Thursday that his party was open to all options for a “coalition government without the AKP”.

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