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Turkey's AK Party win could lead to secular tensions

Published 22/07/2007

Turkey's ruling AK Party has won a resounding election victory today.

The win gives the pro-business, Islamist-rooted party a mandate for reform, but potentially sets the stage for renewed tensions with the secular elite.

The result can be seen as a moral triumph for Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan who called early parliamentary polls after losing a battle with the establishment and army generals, over the appointment of the next head of state.

With only two-thirds of the vote counted, the AK Party had already won 48 percent of the vote.

Some analysts said religion's role in modern Turkey - one of the Muslim world's few democracies that bridges Europe and the Middle East - played a smaller part than many had expected.

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