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Politics Trending Now Turkey

Türkiye: Erdogan’s Party Faces Defeat in Municipal Elections

Istanbul: Following significant success for the opposition in the country’s municipal elections, President Tayyip Erdogan has accepted defeat. Erdogan, referring to the elections as a ‘turning point,’ stated that he respects the decision of the people.

Ekrem Imamoglu maintained a lead of 10 percentage points in the mayoral race in Istanbul, Türkiye’s largest city, while his Republican People’s Party (CHP) retained Ankara and secured 15 more mayoral seats across the country.

This marks one of the worst defeats in over two decades for Erdogan and his AK Party (AKP), potentially signaling a shift in the country’s divided political landscape.

Analysts suggest that rising inflation, uncertain Islamic voters, and Imamoglu’s appeal outside CHP’s secular base contributed to the poor performance of both Erdogan and the AKP, surpassing public expectations.

Imamoglu, 53, addressed thousands of enthusiastic supporters on Sunday, stating, “Those who do not understand the message of the nation will ultimately lose,”  while his supporters chanted slogans calling for Erdogan’s resignation.

Imamoglu further remarked that “16 million residents of Istanbul have sent a message to our rivals and the president”.

Erdogan, who himself served as mayor of Istanbul in the 1990s, had campaigned vigorously before the municipal elections, with analysts seeing it as a test of his support and the opposition’s strength.

Speaking to a crowd gathered at AKP headquarters in the capital Ankara, Erdogan said their alliance had “lost ground nationwide” and pledged to take steps to address the voters’ message.

He said, “If we have made any mistakes, we will correct them,” adding, “If we have any shortcomings, we will fulfill them.”

In Istanbul, the largest city in Europe and the economic engine of the country, according to 92.92% of open ballot boxes, Imamoglu received 50.92% support, while Murat Kurum of the AKP, received 40.05% support, who was a former minister in Erdogan’s national government.

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