The Turkish Grand National Assembly Elections
July 20, 2007
The July 22 parliamentary elections will not only determine the composition of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) and the government for the next five years but also the future of the country’s democratic system.
The elections were mandated after the TGNA, dominated by the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP), failed to elect a replacement for outgoing President Sezer by the May 15 deadline. The presidential election process had witnessed rising tensions, symbolized by mass demonstrations by secularists against the election of a candidate from the ranks of the JDP, which has its origins in the Islamist movement, and had culminated with a barely disguised hint of a coup by the Turkish military, which had overthrown four elected Turkish governments in the past fifty years, and with a decisive intervention by the Constitutional Court.