ANKARA — President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, reeling from shock election results, on Tuesday accepted the resignation of the cabinet but asked the prime minister and his team to stay on until a new government is formed.
The ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) failure in Sunday's polls to keep its parliamentary majority for the first time since it came to power in 2002 has left the country facing either a coalition government or snap elections.
Erdogan hosted Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu for an hour of closed-door talks inside the vast new presidential palace in Ankara.
"Mr President accepted today the resignation of the cabinet that was presented by Mr Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu," Erdogan's office said in a brief statement.
"Mr President, who thanked the cabinet for its services so far, asked the cabinet to remain in charge until a new government is formed," it added.
A government source said that the expected move was purely procedural and Erdogan would host Davutoglu again at a later date to discuss starting coalition talks with other parties.
'No coalition with AKP'
There are however no straightforward coalition options, making snap elections a real possibility.
Erdogan can call snap elections within 45 days if efforts to form a coalition are unsuccessful.
The AKP won 41 per cent of the vote, followed by the Republican People's Party (CHP) on 25 per cent, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on 16.5 per cent and the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) in fourth place with 13 per cent.
The AKP will have 258 seats in the 550-seat parliament, the CHP 132, and the MHP and HDP 80 apiece.
The result was a huge blow for the AKP which has been largely unchallenged in its political dominance of Turkey over the last 13 years.
The MHP, which shares the AKP's conservative and religious outlook would be the most natural partner, but is opposed to many aspects of the peace process with Kurdish rebels.
The HDP, whose charismatic leader Selahattin Demirtas was the star of the campaign, has clearly ruled out taking part in any coalition.
"We are clear on this situation. We will not have a coalition with the AKP," said Demirtas, adding that the AKP and CHP should try and form a coalition as the two biggest parties. — AFP