Turks deliver setback to 'Sultan' Erdogan

Front page of Turkish newspaper Sozcu Image copyright Sozcu
Image caption Turkish newspaper Sozcu proclaimed the 'downfall' of President Erdogan

The consensus in Turkey and abroad is that yesterday's parliamentary election saw a defeat for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his plans to strengthen his personal rule.

There are some crumbs of comfort for him in his sole regional ally, Qatar, and the Turkish media loyal to his AK Justice and Development Party.

'Barriers destroyed'

Image copyright BBC Monitoring
Image caption Sabah newspaper gives a pro-government view on the election, while opposition Takvim declares that voters say no to the government

Turkish opposition media are jubilant at the AK losing its majority, and the pro-Kurdish leftwing People's Democratic Party (HDP) crossing the 10-percent barrier to enter parliament.

Turkey's firmly pro-opposition entertainment channel Fox TV called it an "historic event".

"Barriers destroyed!" declare the headlines in Hurriyet and Bugun, while the pro-Kurdish Ozgur Gundem see a new era for the country after this "victory of the people".

Some papers go personal, with Sozcu headlining the "downfall" of President Erdogan, and Zaman dubbing it a rejection of "authoritarianism, the palace, and corruption".

Hasan Cemal on the T24 news portal sees the "beginning of the end for Erdogan", and Cumhuriyet mocks the AK election slogan in its headline "Here you go, here's your new Turkey!"

'Nightmare returns'

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Image caption Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks to AKP supporters in Ankara

Pro-government media in contrast warn of a return to the economic and political instability of the pre-AK era.

"The nightmare is back," Gunes laments, recalling earlier coalition governments, and Star newspaper says business leaders are anxious at the result.

Pro-government television channels like ATV and Kanal 24 largely ignored live statements by the main opposition parties, allowing AK supporters to dominate discussion of the results.

State-run Haber TV tried to put a brave face on it by repeating Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's declaration that AK are "the winners", while Yeni Safak suggests an early election is possible.

Rasim Ozan Kutahyali in Sabah agrees that the election is the "start of a new battle", and urges supporters of the president to protect him from any further attacks on his authority.

'Major setback'

Image copyright Daily Star
Image caption The election was front page news in this Lebanese paper

Arab, Iranian and Israeli commentators in the main see the result as a setback for the president, although pro-Erdogan Qatar's media, in particular influential Al-Jazeera TV, lead on the AK's "victory" as the largest party.

The Saudi paper Al-Riyadh is fairly representative in saying Mr Erdogan made the election a "referendum on his personal rule", and so must realise this "major setback undermines his hopes of boosting his own power".

Several papers report "Kurds dancing in the street" at what the Syrian opposition site Zaman al-Wasl describes as a "touchstone" result likely to bring them more concessions.

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Image caption Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) supporters celebrated the result in Diyarbakir

London's Al-Quds al Arabi expects the ramifications of the vote to "define the future of the whole region for years to come".

Across the border in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan Region, Hemin Abdallah of the Rudaw News Network says the strong HDP showing will deprive the militant PKK group of the "last word" on Kurdish issues in Turkey.

'Sultan loses sceptre'

European media comment generally echoes the view that Mr Erdogan's "star is fading", as France's Le Monde puts it.

Alberto Negri in Italy's Il Sole 24 Ore says Mr Erdogan is the "latest victim of those Middle Eastern Springs that he planned would follow his model".

He wonders how this "sultan will react to losing the sceptre of absolute command" in a region that, far from emulating him, has left Turkey with Islamic State extremists on its borders.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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