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Turkish President Erdogan urges speedy formation of coalition

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has asked all political parties to put aside their "egos" and quickly form a new government. The president's own party this week lost its absolute majority after 12 years in power.

In a first televised appearance since his own ruling party lost its parliamentary majority, Erdogan told politicians they should show humility and find a solution for the sake of the country.

"Everyone should put their egos aside and a government must be formed as soon as possible, within the constitutional process," Erdogan said. "We cannot leave Turkey without a government, without a head. Those who are condemned to their egos will neither be able to give account to history, nor to our people."

The Justice and Development Party (AKP), which Erdogan himself set up, lost its absolute majority after 12 years in power in Sunday's parliamentary election. Despite remaining the major party, it is now in need of a coalition partner.

Possible candidates include the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the centre-left Republican People's Party (CHP).

The pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) - which achieved more than the 10 percent of the vote needed to secure parliamentary representation - has rejected joining an AKP-led government.

A coalition of the three opposition parties is also possible, but would appear unlikely given their mutual antipathy. If no coalition is formed, Erdogan can call new elections.

Troubled history with coalitions

Acting as interim prime minister, Erdogan's AKP party colleague Ahmet Davutoglu on Thursday said that history had shown Turkey was not well suited to coalition governments, but did not rule out any options.

"We've used the coalition eras of the 1970s and 1990s as an example to show that coalitions are not suitable for Turkey and we still stand by that stance," Davutoglu told a meeting of AKP party officials in Ankara.

"However, with the current political picture ... We're open to any scenarios based on the latest developments."

In-fighting between coalitions in the 1990s undermined Turkey's economy and derailed a series of International Monetary Fund economic aid programs.

Davutoglu said on Wednesday that all options would be exhausted before fresh elections were considered.

rc/msh (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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