The Turkish opposition is likely to retain the posts of mayors of Istanbul and Ankara

The Turkish opposition is likely to retain the posts of mayors of Istanbul and Ankara
The Turkish opposition is likely to retain the posts of mayors of Istanbul and Ankara

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have apparently failed to capture the city halls in Istanbul and Ankara in local elections, according to preliminary results.

According to the Turkish press, the two largest cities in Turkey are led by current mayors who are representatives of the largest opposition group – the People’s Republican Party (CHP). CHP candidates also lead in other major Turkish cities and metropolitan areas.

According to analysts, the key will be the result in Istanbul, where the current mayor Ekrem Imamoglu was challenged to a fight by AKP candidate and former environment minister Murat Kurum. After counting more than 40 percent of the precincts, Imamoglu was leading with almost 50 percent of the votes, Kurum has about 41 percent of the votes so far.

Opposition CHP candidates also lead in Turkey’s four largest cities and metropolitan areas, including Ankara. In the capital, the current mayor Mansur Yavaş has a big lead of more than 20 percentage points after counting roughly one-fifth of the precincts.

What Turkey looked like after the last election:

According to AFP, Erdogan “threw his full weight” into the election race. 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.

According to maps of partial election results published by Turkish media, the CHP is leading after today’s local elections, 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 is celebrating its 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.

The article is in Czech

Tags: Turkish opposition retain posts mayors Istanbul Ankara


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