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Turkish Opposition Party Beats Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) For First Time In 20 Years In Municipal Elections

The Republican People’s Party (CHP) takes victory lap as Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavas Re-elected

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Turkish President Recip Erdogan has suffered the biggest defeat of his career.

According to unofficial preliminary data reported by TRT television, after nearly 95% of all ballots were counted in nationwide contests for the mayor’s office in major cities, the CHP garnered 37.3% with the AKP trailing closely behind at 35.7%.

Mayoral races were the most important contests in the nationwide local elections. CHP candidates are already leading for the mayoralty in 15 out of 30 major cities and 21 provincial centers. So far, the AKP is ahead in 11 metropolitan areas and 12 provincial centers. That said, it failed to regain mayoral seats in the biggest cities, including Ankara, Istanbul, Antalya and Izmir, reported Russian state news agency TASS.

Incumbent Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavas (CHP) won re-election comfortably with 59.5% of the vote against AKP challenger Turgut Altinok, who posted only 32%. In contrast, incumbent Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu (CHP) held on to his seat with a razor thin margin of 50.8% over AKP candidate Murat Kurum, who scored 40%, and other challengers. In both Antalya and Izmir, which have traditionally been seen as opposition strongholds, the gap between the ruling AKP and the CHP and other opposition parties was about 10% in favor of the opposition.

CHP Head Ozgur Ozel noted his party’s substantial success and stressed in particular that, “for the first time since 1978, the state television has named the CHP as the leader in the elections.”

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