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Turkey's noisy Erdogan in uncharacteristic post-poll silence

10 june 2015, 11:01

 Turkey's usually highly loquacious President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made no spoken comment since his party lost its parliamentary majority in weekend elections, prompting intrigue and mockery in opposition media, AFP reports.

Erdogan's silence since the elections has surprised many in Turkey who are used to seeing him deliver several speeches a day in rallies or television programmes, lashing out at opponents.

After the vote, his office published a written statement urging political parties to behave responsibly in the coming period.

He hosted Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu for talks Monday but the only communication was a terse three-line statement from the presidency that the government was resigning in line with normal procedure.

Erdogan's last tweet from his official account was posted on Saturday, reading "Thank you Agri", referring to the eastern province where he staged a rally on the eve of the key vote.

"Turkey is resting its head," the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper headlined on Tuesday, mockingly comparing Erdogan's hush with the pre-election period when he appeared on 127 television programmes and remained on air for 367 hours and 23 minutes.

Opposition bloggers opened a tick counter page, illustrating how long he has been off-air in days, hours, minutes and seconds, which went viral on social media including Twitter.

The charismatic leader of the main Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtas, told Erdogan there was no need to retreat to his controversial presidential palace in Ankara to lick his wounds.

"The power and the seats are not your property, but the people's," Demirtas told reporters.

"There is no need to be panicked, get frustrated or close yourself up in your to palace," he said. "The power and mandate are temporary."

Erdogan was condemned during the campaigning by opposition parties for failing to act as an apolitical leader as demanded of the head of state by law.

He dismissed the accusations, saying he was not taking sides but naturally one party was closer to his heart.

Turkish media reports said Erdogan's first scheduled public speech would be an address to students on Thursday.

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