Erdogan suffered his worst defeat in 22 years in municipal elections


The mayors of both cities from the largest opposition group, the People’s Republican Party (CHP), declared themselves the winners on Sunday evening. CHP candidates also succeeded in other major Turkish cities and metropolitan areas.

After counting the majority of votes, Ekrem Imamoglu (CHP) defended the post of mayor of Istanbul with a gain of 50 percent. He had a lead of ten percentage points over AKP candidate and former environment minister Murat Kurum. “We won the election. Thank you for your support,” Imamoglu told his supporters.

The current mayor of Ankara, Mansur Yavaş, won with an even bigger margin. Already before midnight, after counting three-quarters of the precincts, he had a lead of 25 percentage points over the AKP candidate. “Those who were overlooked sent a signal to those who rule,” Yavaş told his supporters.

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Candidates of the opposition CHP also lead in the other three largest Turkish cities and metropolitan areas.

Erdogan promised to respect the result

CHP head Özgür Özel said about the results of the municipal elections that the voters sent an important signal to the government. “They opened the door to a new atmosphere in politics,” the party chief said. According to him, voters rewarded the good work of CHP mayors in Turkey’s largest cities, who led well even without the support of the central government. According to the nationwide results, which reflect the situation in 80 percent of the precincts where the census ended, the CHP received 37 percent of the vote and the AKP 36 percent of the vote. Erdogan has yet to comment on the election this evening.

Photo: Reuters

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu greets his supporters after the publication of the first results

According to AFP, Erdogan “threw his full weight” into the election campaign. The president, who got his start in politics as Istanbul’s mayor, was keen for the AKP to regain City Hall in Turkey’s largest city, home to 16 million people and accounting for 30 percent of Turkey’s GDP. The Justice and Development Party lost the City Hall in 2019, when its candidate was defeated by Imamoglu in regular and repeat elections.

“Unfortunately, we did not achieve the results we envisioned,” Erdogan said outside the AKP headquarters in Ankara. He told an unusually quiet crowd, according to AFP, that the vote was a turning point for his camp from which he would draw consequences. The president also promised to “respect the decision” of voters.

Injured and dead

The elections were also marked by clashes that took place in the south of the country. According to Reuters, three people died and several others were injured in various incidents.

According to maps of partial election results released by Turkish media, the CHP was leading mainly in the west of the country and in major cities. Erdogan’s AKP has retained the center of Turkey, which has a more rural character. In the southeast, the party of the Kurdish minority DEM is celebrating success.

According to observers, elections in Turkey are taking place without direct fraud, but under unfair conditions. Erdogan and his party have a clear advantage in access to state and partly private media. Opposition politicians face various backlash from the authorities, and representatives of Kurdish parties are in some cases prosecuted for alleged ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which carry heavy penalties in Turkey.

Clashes broke out during elections in Turkey, one person died



The article is in Czech

Tags: Erdogan suffered worst defeat years municipal elections


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