Istanbul struggles with election controversy as results remain uncertain

Erdogan Party Leads Nationwide Vote Total, But Suffers Big Setbacks In Mayor Races

Turkey elections: opposition claims victory in Ankara, pulls ahead in Istanbul

The chairman of Turkey's Supreme Election Board (YSK), Sadi Guven, said on Monday that Imamoglu was leading by almost 28,000 votes with most ballots counted.

Ekrem Imamoglu, the candidate with the secularist Republican People's Party, or CHP, is leading Binali Yildirim, the AKP candidate, by just over 25,000 votes, according to the board, meaning that...

The city remained tense, with police and armoured vehicles stationed outside the Istanbul headquarters of the Supreme Election Board (YSK), which now has until 12 April to rule on the AKP's complaints. "However, the opposition's victory in Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir signal that the AKP's control is not absolute, but in fact, it is finally showing signs of weakening", the expert said.

The AK Party is on track to lose control of what are Turkey's two biggest cities, its commercial hub of Istanbul and the capital Ankara, in a surprise election setback that may complicate Erdogan's plans to combat recession.

Government officials have previously threatened they will not recognise results if HDP candidates with "terror" links win.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey announced it will use its "legal rights" to make sure no vote fraud took place in Ankara and Istanbul.

President Erdogan is to contest more than 300,000 votes in Istanbul, which his party lost to the main opposition in local elections.

Even though Erdogan is firmly entrenched in an all-powerful presidency after winning re-election previous year, political analysts do see the elections for mayors and city councils as a referendum on what is described as his authoritarian style of rule.

Mansur Yavas, the candidate of the opposition alliance, won 50.9% support in Ankara.

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More than 57 million voters were eligible to choose leaders for 30 major cities, 51 provincial capitals and 922 districts in Turkey, as well as thousands of local positions.

Imamoglu had 48.79 percent of the votes while Yildirim had 48.52 percent, Anadolu reported on Tuesday, citing preliminary results.

"Today's elections are as historic as that of 1994", prominent journalist Rusen Cakir tweeted, referring to the year Erdogan was elected mayor of Istanbul.

Dr. Demiralp concluded that the government realizes that losing Istanbul and Ankara is a major setback and if the CHP party mayors perform well in the next four years this could cost the AK Party the general elections.

"This will certainly lead to an emerging new political landscape in Turkey", he said.

"If the two new mayors of these cities, Imamoglu and Yavas, do a good job, they can significantly increase their parties' electoral success in the 2023 general elections".

Despite eking out majority support across the country, defeat for Erdogan's Islamist-rooted party in Ankara was a significant blow for the president.

Andrew Dawson, head of the Council of Europe's election observation mission, said Monday his monitors were "not fully convinced that Turkey now has the free and fair electoral environment which is necessary for genuinely democratic elections".

The CHP's Istanbul head Canan Kaftancioglu said her party submitted objections in 22 districts, adding they expected to receive 4,960 more votes after the appeals were resolved.

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