Elections in Turkey: Historical victory for opposition – turning point 31 March says Erdogan

In triumph of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) of the main opposition its municipal elections evolved, while his speech in Ankara noted that 31 March is a turning point. The results of the municipal elections show that the main opposition party has won a major victory in the country’s largest municipalities, Istanbul and Ankara. The results are a major blow to Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who hoped to regain control of the cities. He also led the campaign in Istanbul, where he grew up and became mayor. But Erem Imamoglu, the mayor of the city since 2019, scored a second victory for the secular opposition CHP. This was also the first time since Erdogan took power 21 years ago that his party was defeated throughout the country in the polls. Point of turning on 31 March The crowd gathered outside the headquarters of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara addressed Recep Tayyip Erdogan after the election defeat of his party in Sunday’s municipal elections. After clearing the final image of the election result, the Turkish president flew out of Istanbul for Ankara where he delivered a speech, as after each election. The Turkish President stressed that “March 31st for us is not the end, it is a turning point”. “Although they have not yet been finalised, the results of the ballot box show that we have lost height across the country. Of course, we will analyse the reasons for this drop at local level. Wherever we lose, where we stay behind, we will identify (…) the reasons and make the necessary interventions.” President Erdogan also assured that the evaluation of the results of the March 31st elections will take place in the party’s bodies “with an open heart” and will become self-critical “with courage”. Although they have not yet been finalised, the results (…) show us that the AKP “lost altitude across the country” admitted. Recep Tayyip Erdogan still appeared to deny scenarios of early elections after the election result, saying that “Turkey has over four years ahead of it” until the next election, “which are worth as much as a treasure”. “We cannot miss this period with discussions that will waste the time of the nation and the country. As a political party that completed its 21st year in power, we are aware of our responsibilities, to the government, and to local government. We will pay more attention to our country’s urgent problems, especially the reconstruction of the earthquake-stricken region and the elimination of our economic problems,” he insisted. At the same time, he attempted to reassure the markets, ensuring that to date the government has implemented the medium-term programme and the 12th development plan. “We stayed away from populism that would cost our country, our nation and future generations,” he said. We will start to see the positive results of our economic programme, particularly in inflation, from the second half of the year,” he promised. “Everyone, from our business world to bureaucracy, from traders to farmers, traders, workers and students, will be able to focus on what they really care about.” “Despite the results, the winner of these elections is primarily our democracy, national will and all 85 million people, regardless of their political views,” the Turkish president considered. “The winner of the election marathon was Turkey, our nation and our democracy, for which we paid a heavy price,” he added.