Hundreds of thousands of Justice and Development Party (AK Party) supporters crammed into Istanbul’s Yenikapi square on Sunday to show support for Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who addressed the crowd as part of his election campaign.
Prime Minister Davutoglu arrived at the square with his wife by helicopter, before greeting the crowd and speaking out against racism and partisanism, warning Turkey not to go back to the 1990s when tensions between Turks and Kurds was high.
Turkey is heading for a repeat of its June 7 parliamentary elections on November 1 after negotiations between the country’s four main parties - AK Party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) - failed to form a ruling coalition.
In the last election, AK Party lost their majority, taking only 40.8 percent of the votes, while CHP won 25.1 percent and MHP won 16.4 percent.
Meanwhile, HDP passed the 10 percent threshold for the first time with 13 percent of the votes, picking up on former AK Party constituencies in the mainly Kurdish southeast of the country.