Turkey’s President Erdogan lost control of many major cities, like Istanbul, Izmir, and even the capital, Ankara, in the recent local elections battle
In Turkey, municipal elections were held across the nation on Sunday and an AKP-led alliance won more than 51% votes. The elections which are taking place during an economic shutdown are considered a verdict on Mr Erdogan’s rule even though preliminary results showed the main opposition was slightly ahead in the contest for mayor of Istanbul according to figures provided by the state-run Anadolu news agency.
More precisely, the opposition People’s Republican Party (CHP), that has won more that 50% of votes while the AKP was on about 47%. This is the first time in 25 years that the Islamist party has lost its grip on the capital. If the results are confirmed, it will be a blow to Erdogan who has dominated Turkish politics since becoming Prime Minister back in 2003.
That is why the president’s AKP – or Justice and Development Party is challenging the results in Ankara saying there were many “invalid votes and irregularities in most of the 12,158 polling stations”, as well as those in Istanbul and the eastern province of Igdir. Commenting on the results on Sunday, the president looked ahead to national elections in 2023 saying:
“We have a long period ahead where we will carry out economic reforms without compromising on the rules of the free-market economy. If there are any shortcomings, it is our duty to correct them.”
Out of the 57 million people that were registered to vote for mayors and councilors the turnout was at under 85%. The opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate Mansur Yavas won in Ankara, and with almost all votes counted he was on nearly 51% while the AKP’s Mehmet Ozhaseki had won the support of just over 47%. However, even though in Istanbul there was a tight race, AKP claimed victory, while the third largest city, Izmir, went to the CHP.