Turkey's Islamic-rooted ruling party won parliamentary elections Sunday, taking at least 341 of 550 seats despite warnings from the secular opposition that the government was a threat to secular traditions.
With more than 99 percent of votes counted, television news channels were projecting that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party would win 341 of the 550 seats, down from 351 in the outgoing parliament. Two secular parties, the Republican People's Party and the Nationalist Action Party, won 124 seats and 76 seats respectively, Anatolia said. Independents won 19 seats.
Erdogan told supporters in his victory speech that he would preserve pluralistic democracy and work for national unity. "We will never make concessions over the values of people, the basic principles of our republic. This is our promise. We will embrace Turkey as a whole without discriminating," he said at a rally in the capital, Ankara.
In May, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul abandoned his presidential bid after opponents said his election would remove the last obstacle to an Islamic takeover of government. Hundreds of thousands of protesters flooded the streets and the military threatened to intervene to safeguard secularism.
On Sunday, many people cut short vacations to head home to cast their ballots, and lines at some polling stations were long, the AP reported.