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Scuffles break out in Kurdish southeast as Turkey election results announced

Clashes have broken out in southeast Turkey after early results showed the ruling AKP has won back its majority in parliament. There has been growing tension following the collapse of peace talks.

Turkish security forces fired tear gas at stone-throwing protesters in the mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir as election results came in on Sunday. Support for the pro-Kurdish opposition was hovering close to below the 10 percent threshold for entry into parliament.

Youths wielded flares and set garbage cans alight as riot police responded with force in an attempt to clear city streets after the poll results became known.

Preliminary

results showed that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had won just below 50 percent of the vote,

which would restore its ruling majority.

Sunday's poll was a re-run of a June election in which the AKP surprisingly lost its one-party rule due to a strong showing by the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) which won about 13 percent of votes nationwide.

If Sunday's results are made official, the Islamist-rooted AKP would reclaim a majority of seats in parliament, according to Turkey's state-run broadcaster TRT.

It would deliver the party founded by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with about 315 of 550 parliamentary seats.

Loyalists celebrate 'victory for Erdogan'

Wahl in der Türkei AKP gewinnt deutlich

A portrait of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is held aloft outside the AKP headquarters in Istanbul, Turkey November 1, 2015. Turks went to the polls in a snap parliamentary election on Sunday under the shadow of mounting internal bloodshed with PKK militants.

The AKP and Erdogan have increasingly turned up their

rhetoric against the Kurdish minority and militants fighting for language rights and autonomy.

There are fears of a return to all-out war between the Turkish state and fighters from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) after a bloody autumn destroyed the 2013 ceasefire.

Since last June's election, not only has violence escalated in the southeast, the war in neighboring Syria has worsened and Turkey - a NATO member - has been struck by two suicide bomb attacks that have

killed more than 130 people, mostly ethnic Kurds.

jar/jm (AP, dpa)

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