Turkey: Heavy defeat of Erdogan in municipal elections – Crash in 5 biggest cities

The Republican People’s Party (CHP) of its main opposition largely holds the three major metropolitan municipalities, in the critical, municipalities in which Erdogan suffered a crash. Erdoğan’s AKP loses by far Turkey’s 5 largest cities ( Istanbul, Ankara, Smyrna, Bursa, Antalia). A major winner of Turkey’s municipal elections is Mayor Istanbul Erem Imamoglu, who secured a 10-point difference over his chosen President Erdogan, Murat Kurum. In the capital Ankara incumbent mayor Manshur Yavas secures comfortable re-election with 25 units difference over the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) candidate Turgut Altinok, as in addition to the CHP’s support, he enjoys wider appreciation from nationalist and conservative circles. Yavas in his first statements said that “I would like to thank Ozgiur Ozel and Kemal Kilicdaroglou, all our volunteers and those who supported and believed us. The real heroes were you. Dear people of Ankara, I will repeat what I said when I won the 2019 election: We do not see this result as a victory. We have no enemies against us. Perhaps our policies are different, we may see the world differently, but now the elections are over. We will continue to serve Ankara’s 6 million citizens, without discrimination. In Smyrna , stronghold of the CHP Kemalists, it appears to be elected mayor Tunjay Ozkan, chosen of the party’s leadership, which led to conflict at local level with outgoing mayor Tuds Sawyer”. I lost Erdogan and in Bursa and Antalya Defeats recorded the AKP in both the next largest cities after the first trinity, Bursa and Antalya. In Bursa, Turkey’s 4th largest city, Mustafa Bozbei of the CHP brings together 47% against 39.38 of Erdogan’s candidate Alinur Aktas. In the 5th largest city, Antalia (which was hit by the earthquakes) Muhitin Bejek of CHP leads with 5 units of AKP’s Hakan Tutunchu. Winner of the CHP in total after 22 years An important element resulting from these elections is that, as everything seems, even slightly different, the CHP is first all over Turkey, for the first time since 2002. Erdogan’s party falls from 44% in the 2019 municipal election below 36% and… some change now. The CHP marginally passes first, while in 2019 it had accumulated 30%. In the parliamentary election, on May 14, 2023 the AKP was first with a rate of 36.30% and CHP second with 25.80%. Ozgu Oszel: Voters chose to change Turkey’s face “The voters chose to change Turkey’s face” after 22 years of domination of the Islamo-Conservative AKP party, the leader of the Social Democratic People’s Party (CHP), the main formation of the opposition, said this evening. “They wanted to open the door to a new political climate in our country,” added Ozgu Oszel, whose party is on a victory course in the major Turkish cities, including Istanbul and Ankara capital. Erdogan’s great failure in Istanbul and its importance The interest, in any case, in this election focused on Constantinople, as the real duel was not held between Imamoglu and Kurum, but between Imamoglu and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The first had taken the municipality of Istanbul from the ruling Justice and Development Party, in the 2019 election, after 25 years. For Erdoğan the recovery of the municipality of Istanbul, from where it started climbing politics, has since become a goal of life. Erdogan had personally borne the burden of the campaign. Only in the last 48 hours before the election organized six election rallies, all in Istanbul. His ministers are doing the same thing in the last week before the elections in Istanbul, but that led to Murat Kurum being obscured, who is not particularly charismatic anyway. Through Kurum’s victory Erdogan hoped he would gain political displacement to steel even more his power, perhaps with Constitutional change. Constantinople of 16 million inhabitants officially, perhaps of 20 million unofficially, population is greater than 131 countries in the world, produces 30 to 40% of Turkish GDP, manages a huge budget and holds the most expensive “filettes” of real estate in the country. The city would be an important asset to strengthen Erdogan’s authority. The political scene now the next day for Erdogan, after the Imamoglu victory, is completely different and the Turkish president should find ways of managing at the lowest possible cost. Imamoglu leader of the CHP? With this election result the way for incumbent mayor Erem Imamoglu to become the leader of the opposition, if the internal quarrels in the Republican People’s Party (CHP), to which he belongs, opens up. Throughout his mayoral term and campaign Imamoglu had to face the entire government apparatus, but also the other opposition parties. The heterogeneous alliance of opposition parties in last year’s presidential election was disbanded and comes down to this election fragmented. This means that Imamoglu managed to rally a wider audience than CHP voters, which is less than 30% in Istanbul. This public is estimated to come mainly from Kurdish voters and young people and the right-wing Good Party of former Interior Minister, Meral Aksener.

Exit mobile version