Tuesday May 21, 2024

Istanbul and Ankara lean towards opposition in high-stakes Turkish local elections

Erdogan's AK party faces setback as opposition surges in Turkish local poll

By Web Desk
April 01, 2024
Concerns for Erdogan as opposition wins Istanbul, Ankara in local polls. — AFP/File
Concerns for Erdogan as opposition wins Istanbul, Ankara in local polls. — AFP/File

Turkish politics marks a critical turning point with the country's major opposition party set for a win in the most crucial urban centres of Istanbul and Ankara, during the municipal elections that carry high stakes.

Ekrem Imamoglu, the opposition mayor of Istanbul, who previously won the city's mayoralty in 2019, said that he was pleased as the outcome made him and his supporters very happy.

After President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was successful in his third term election in 2019, he turned his attention to grabbing back to Istanbul, which is his hometown and ex-mayoral estate. But the evening was a triumph march of the opposition as its candidates were gaining the upper hand in the polls.

With 80% of the votes counted in Istanbul, Mr Imamoglu was ahead of his opponent from AKP by almost 10 points. On the other hand, in the capital city, Ankara, the secular opposition's Mansur Yavas had a strong lead of 59% and had already declared victory even before all the votes were counted.

The leader of CHP, the main opposition party, also had promising results in other big cities like Izmir, Bursa, and Antalya, indicating that there might be a change in the political landscape in the country.

The CHP party chairman, Ozgur Ozel, praised voters who brought about the revolutionary shift in Turkish politics, and he also admired them for this historical change. He noted that they were attempting to open the door to a new political climate in our nation.

The general atmosphere among the crowd embraced the future, with "Everything is going to be great!" roaring across the historical Sarachane district.

The influence on the upcoming local elections goes beyond their local limitations, as with Istanbul alone constituting a fifth of Turkey's population and a considerable part of its economy, the national implications are crucial and can lead to a change in the country's political course.