ANKARA, Turkey – Turkey's parliament has elected the ruling party's candidate as its new speaker with the tacit support of a right-wing nationalist party, a move that represents a serious gesture to the ruling party as Turkey heads toward coalition-building talks.
Ismet Yilmaz — the ruling party's nominee and the defense minister in the outgoing government — won 258 votes Wednesday, beating the left-wing party's candidate in a face-off Wednesday. The nationalist party cast invalid votes, implicitly helping Yilmaz take the post to lead Turkey's 550-seat parliament.
The ruling Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party came first in Turkey's June 7 elections, taking 258 seats but losing its majority, forcing it to seek a coalition partnership. The election of the speaker was being watched for clues on possible coalition alliances.