An Islamist party swept Turkey’s parliamentary elections this week, breaking the Muslim country’s long secular political tradition. Voters searching for new blood to lift Turkey out of its worst economic crisis in decades gave the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, a plurality of seats in parliament. An Islamist party was elected once before, in 1997. That government had a strong religious bent, and the military, which wields great power in Turkish politics, forced it to resign. But the more moderate AKP is expected to be acceptable to the generals. AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would not try to introduce Islamic law, saying, “Secularism is the protector of all beliefs and religions.”
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