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Turkish political landscape shifts as Erdogan’s AK Party faces heaviest defeat since 2004 local elections

Turkish political landscape shifts as Erdogan's AK Party faces heaviest defeat since 2004 local elections
By Yagiz Efe Parmaksiz
Apr 1, 2024 3:44 AM

President Erdogan’s AK Party faces defeat in local elections, losing ground in key provinces, failing to win back likes of Istanbul, Ankara, signaling a notable political change

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AK Party was defeated in local elections on Sunday for the first time since the election of 2004. The main opposition party CHP secured 37.74% of the votes while the ruling AK Party secured 35.49%. 

 As the opened ballot count neared 100%, Türkiye’s ruling party AK Party, which has been dominating the political stage for 20 years, saw an unanticipated defeat. Erdogan’s party only managed to secure 24 provinces out of 81, whereas the CHP opposition got ahead with 32. In comparison, the last local elections held in 2019 saw Erdogan’s party managing to win a total of 39 provinces while CHP’s count was only 21.

Notably, Hatay province, which was struck by devastating earthquakes last year, decided to go with AK Party after favoring CHP back in the 2019 local elections.  

The 78.53% voter turnout was lower than previous local elections’ 84,64%.

Erdogan, who was not wearing his famous ‘winner blazer’ addressed the nation from Ankara, showing gratitude to citizens for their participation and expressing the importance of democracy. He stated, “March 31 is not an end for us, but a turning point”

The spotlight of the local elections was the globally covered Istanbul results, which showed the AK Party’s defeat. AK Party’s Murat Kurum concluded the elections 39.59% of the votes while the opposition’s Imamoglu was re-elected with 51.07%. The shift in power was also evident at the district level, with AK Party candidates clinching victory in 13 out of Istanbul’s 39 districts, marking a notable decrease from the 24 districts they previously held prior to the election.Turkish political landscape shifts as Erdogan's AK Party faces heaviest defeat since 2004 local elections

After Istanbul’s fate was certain, both candidates addressed the citizens. Kurum graciously acknowledged his defeat, expressing gratitude to supporters and outlining plans for continued engagement in Istanbul‘s political and social scene. In contrast, Imamoglu, while expressing gratitude, highlighted the need for perseverance and unity, stressing the significance of the opposition’s victories in district municipalities

Source: Newsroom

Last Updated:  Jun 5, 2024 9:43 PM