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Hamas leader congratulates Erdogan on AKP win

Nov. 2, 2015 6:28 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 2, 2015 6:28 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The exiled head of Hamas, Khalid Meshaal, on Monday congratulated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu for the Justice and Development Party's (AKP) win in the Turkish parliamentary elections on Sunday.

In a phone call, Meshaal expressed to Erdogan and Davutoglu his hopes for Turkey"s security and stability in addition to his hope that the AKP's win would reflect positively on the "(Palestinian) nation's causes," particularly regarding the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

The right-wing Islamist-leaning AKP has strong ties with the Hamas movement, and leaders of the Turkish party have met with Hamas leaders on multiple occasions.

On Monday, Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri, said that a victory for AKP was a victory for Palestine, the Jerusalem Post reported.

AKP won the Turkish parliamentary elections with 49.4 percent of the votes, while its leading challenger, the Republican People's party (CHP) took in only 25.4 percent.

The elections held on Sunday were a re-vote, after AKP lost its parliamentary majority in June for the first time in 13 years.

Following June's election, other political parties in Turkey were hoping to win a combined parliamentary majority over AKP in order to stem attempts by the right-wing party to reform the current government.

Last year Erdogan resigned from his seat as Prime Minister, and became Turkey's first ever elected president.

With all the votes nearly counted, the AKP has won 316 seats in Turkey's 550 seat parliament, a large majority, but still 16 seats short of being able call for a referendum to change the constitution and increase presidential powers, the BBC reported.
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