Supporters of Erdogan's AK party wave flags in Istanbul on Sunday
Supporters of Erdogan's AK party wave flags in Istanbul on Sunday

Turkish local elections: Erdogan faces defeat, Opposition leads in Ankara, Istanbul

ANI | Updated: Apr 02, 2019 02:09 IST

Ankara [Turkey], Apr 02 (ANI): Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday suffered a major setback after his Justice and Development Party (AK) lost control of Ankara and Istanbul, considered to be its bastion since decades, for the first time since the party came to power in 2002.
Anadolu Agency reported that the opposition People's Republican Party (CHP) won Ankara, AK's stronghold for decades, with more than 50 per cent of votes, and was leading with a narrow victory in Istanbul with 48.79 per cent votes.
However, in the rest of the country, AK party, in alliance with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), held 51.63 per cent of the overall vote, while the opposition alliance claimed 37.55 per cent of votes respectively.
Although Erdogan was not running the election race for the office on Sunday, he was the face of the election campaign and rallied tirelessly for two months ahead of Sunday's vote, which he described as a “matter of survival” for his nation.
According to Al Jazeera, election observers viewed this municipal election to be the first nationwide referendum on Erdogan’s leadership since he won presidential polls last year in June.
Official statistics showed that in the last two quarters of 2018 the Turkish economy slipped into its first recession in a decade, as inflation and interest rates soared due to the currency meltdown. The Turkish lira lost as much as 40 per cent of its value against the US dollar last year.
Addressing the issue at a gathering in Ankara, Erdogan said that the government would "make structural reforms to build a stronger economy against attacks".
Meanwhile, Anadolu Agency quoted Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu as saying that everyone should respect the results of Sunday's elections.
"The Turkish people voted for the country's survival and stability," Cavusoglu said.
"The ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party won the election by a landslide. Even in the eastern and southeastern cities considered bastions of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP)," he added.
"There were also various constituencies where [the ruling Justice and Development] AK Party lost the ballot, including my hometown of Antalya," the Foreign Minister noted.
"We have to respect the decision of the Turkish people," Cavusoglu said.
According to reports by the Turkish local media, The election results are expected to be announced in the coming days, while the political parties have been allotted three more days to submit their objections regarding the process. (ANI)