Turkey’s opposition thumps Erdogan in pivotal local elections

Mar31,2024



New Delhi: A big blow to the President tayyip erdogan And his party, the Turks, suffered a landslide defeat in local elections on Sunday, confirming the strength of the opposition and emboldening Istanbul's mayor. Ekrem Imamoglu As Erdogan's primary rival.
With majority votes, Imamolu The Istanbul mayoral race surged by a whopping 10 percentage points, while the Republican People's Party (CHP) retained control of Ankara and picked up 15 other mayoral seats across the country. This electoral setback is the most significant loss for him. Erdogan and his AK Party (AKP) during his more than two-decade rule, potentially signaling a change in Turkey's political landscape.
Imamoglu's success in Istanbul was attributed to factors such as rising inflation, disaffected Islamist voters, and his broad appeal beyond the CHP's traditional support base. Following the election results, Erdogan hailed the result as an “important turning point” in a late-night address. Addressing the cheering crowd of supporters, Imamoglu stressed the importance of understanding the nation's message, saying, “Those who do not understand the nation's message will ultimately lose.” He highlighted the importance of the 16 million Istanbul citizens who sent a clear message to his rivals and the President.
Despite Erdoğan's extensive campaign efforts ahead of the municipal elections, the AKP suffered a more significant defeat than opinion polls indicated. Erdogan vowed to address the message from voters and enact necessary reforms in the coming years. Meanwhile, thousands of supporters in Ankara celebrated the re-election of CHP mayor Mansoor YavasWho defeated his AKP opponent convincingly.
Imamoglu received 50.92% of the votes in Istanbul, while AKP's Murat Kurum received 40.05%, according to official results from 92.92% of ballot boxes. The victory in Turkey's largest city underlined Imamoglu's growing political stature and potential as a future presidential contender. The AKP and its allies also gave up control of mayoral posts in 19 major municipalities, including major cities such as Bursa and Balıkesir, reflecting pressure on working-class voters.
Analysts saw Imamoglu's ability to bridge deep socio-political divisions within Turkey's opposition voters as a key factor in his success. His victory was seen as a crushing defeat for Erdogan, the most serious electoral blow to the president since he took power in 2002. The economic challenges facing Turkish citizens, including high inflation and slow growth, played a significant role in voters' decision to punish. AKP in the elections
Imamoglu's rise in Turkish politics began in 2019 when he ended the AKP's 25-year rule in Istanbul and won the mayoral race. Despite the collapse of the opposition coalition that failed to oust Erdogan from power last year, Imamoglu's popularity remains intact. The decision of the pro-Kurdish party to field its own candidate in Istanbul did not diminish support for Imamoglu, as many Kurds once again voted for him.
Election day was not devoid of incidents, with violence reported in several areas, resulting in casualties and injuries. Despite these challenges, the election result signaled a significant change in the Turkish political landscape and highlighted Imamoglu's emergence as a strong challenger to Erdogan's rule.



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