Erdogan's ruling party loses mayoral race in Istanbul

Apr 02, 2024

Ankara [Turkey], April 2: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AKP party has lost the mayoral election in Turkey's largest metropolis Istanbul, according to preliminary unofficial results.
Incumbent Ekrem Imamoglu from the main opposition CHP party has been re-elected, securing around 51 percent after almost all votes were counted, state news agency Anadolu reported.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed disappointment with the results, that showed a major setback for his ruling AKP party.
"Unfortunately, we were unable to achieve the result we desired and hoped for in the local election test," Erdogan told supporters at his party headquarters in capital Ankara.
Main opposition CHP party secured the highest number of mayoral seats in 81 cities according to unofficial preliminary results shared by state news agency Anadolu.
In the final count after Sunday's voting, the CHP won 37.8 percent of the ballots, followed by the AK Party with just under 35.5 percent, according to the Daily Sabah newspaper.
Observers called the result a historic defeat for Erdogan's Islamic conservative party.
The secular CHP was able to defend the largest metropolis of Istanbul and the capital Ankara against the AKP with a large lead, Anadolu reported, citing 90 percent of the votes counted.
Istanbul's CHP mayor, Ekrem Imamoglu, held the city, defeating AK Party candidate and former Environment and Urbanisation Minister Murat Kurum with just more than 51 percent of the vote. Erdogan, 70, was born and raised in Istanbul and served as its mayor in the 1990s, so the defeat was seen as a personal blow.
"We will honestly assess the results of the elections ... and courageously exercise self-criticism," Erdogan told his supporters.
Ten months after his re-election as president, Sunday's poll was seen as a test of popularity for 70-year-old Erdogan and his party.
Imamoglu, 53, was elected mayor of Istanbul - Turkey's economic hub and largest city with 16 million people - in 2019, ending 25 years of rule by the AK Party and its conservative predecessors.
Source: Qatar Tribune

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