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Feature: Turks hope stability, development after parliamentary elections
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08:56, July 24, 2007

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While expressing her believe to freedom, Tugba Yildiz, a 20-year-old bank clerk, said Monday that she does not want Turkey to be Westernized.

Yildiz, with dyed-blond hair and wearing a red close-fitting T- shirt style skirt, made the remarks while chatted with her friends in a Starbucks store in Migros, a shopping mall in Ankara, following the country's parliamentary elections on Sunday.

According to the announcement, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), usually regarded as having "Islamic roots, " won the Sunday elections with 46.5 percent of the votes.

The main opposition Republican People's Party CHP and the MHP garnered 20.9 percent and 14.3 percent respectively, while other parties did not gain enough support to clear the 10 percent hurdle to enter parliament.

Yildiz was very satisfied with the results of the elections for the party she supports, the MHP, which is often labeled as "ultra- nationalist," will be back to the parliament after a five-year break.

"I hope the new government can reduce unemployment rate and provide more opportunities for young people," said Yildiz, who also expressed the hope that her country would be built more beautiful and stable.

"The government should continue to crack down terrorism in southeastern Turkey," she said, referring to the Kurdish Worker's Party (PKK), which has been listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union (EU).

Monday's Ankara was as calm and normal as usual after the Sunday elections.

In Migros, where posters of "Indirim," which means "discount" in Turkish, were tagged everywhere, local people were shopping happily, aware of the coming of the sales season.

While being busy in introducing products to the customers, Hulya Sen, about 30, a saleswoman in a shirt shop, said that though she thinks the Western life style is good, she is against Turkey's application to become an EU member.

"I do not believe in Europe. The EU often forces us to do things that we do not want to do and their promise can never become true," she said, adding that she prefers Turkey to be a Middle East country.

Asked what she wants the new government can do for the people, Sen sighed, looking afar. A few second later, she said that the government should be more cautious in privatization.

The 59th government began to sell large state-owned enterprises since it was formed in 2002 by AKP.

Sen also hoped that the three parties which entered parliament after Sunday's election -- AKP, CHP and MHP -- can coordinate with each other on the issue of selecting a new president and avoid a new crisis like that in May.

Sen's hope is exactly the same as what the country's leaders expected.

AKP Chairman Recep Tayyip Erdogan, also Prime Minister of the country, said on Monday afternoon that he had submitted resignation for his 59th government to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and that the Council of Ministers would fulfill its duty till the 60th government is formed.

Erdogan expressed his belief that his party would elect a new president in collaboration with other parties without allowing any crisis in the new parliament.

The parliamentary elections were scheduled to be held on Nov. 4 but were brought forward almost four months because of the failure to elect a new president after the CHP boycotted the presidential election in late April and early May.

Then the sole candidate for the presidency Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, a close ally of Erdogan, withdrew from the presidential race, which showed that the government was giving up efforts to push Gul's candidacy through parliament in defiance of strong secularist opposition.

Oya Binici, a guide of the former residence of the country's creator Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, believed that the main problem with the ruling AKP lies in its closeness with the United States.

"Ninety percent of the Turks opposed U.S. invasion of Iraq and its hegemony. It seems that the United States is willing to help Turkey, but in fact, it would not help you if not for its own interests," she said.

Sevde Gul, 45, a government employee, who was shopping with her 15-year-old daughter, thought the elections result was very good because economy has developed fast and society has remained stability since the AKP became the ruling party.

Turkey has recovered from a deep financial crisis with annual growth rates averaging more than 7 percent over the past four years, while per capita income and tourism proceeds doubled and foreign investments soared to 20 billion U.S. dollars in 2006.

"Economy is very important, especially that you have married and have children and I hope economy can continue to develop fast, " Gul said.

Source: Xinhua

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