The results of the local elections are more than a piece of cake for Turkish President and AKP Chairman Tayyip Erdogan. His ACP is still the strongest party in the country with 44 percent of the vote. It has not changed since the first election in 2002.
However, the political map of Turkey has changed on Sunday. For many years, the yellow of the AKP had determined the card almost continuously. On Sunday, however, was only in half of the 81 provinces strongest force. The dominance of the ruling party is thus limited only to the conservative Central Anatolia.
It is becoming more and more likely that the AKP itself will lose Istanbul – there Erdogan’s rise had begun in 1994. Although the AKP candidate Yildirim had declared his victory late on Sunday evening, when his lead had been wafer-thin. Thereafter, however, the High Electoral Authority stopped updating the interim results.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AKP faced a major upset on Monday after local election results showed the ruling party had lost the capital Ankara and the country’s economic hub Istanbul after a decade and half in power.
Losing the country’s two major cities would be a stunning defeat for President Erdogan, a former Istanbul mayor himself, whose ability to win repeatedly at the ballot box has been unparalleled in Turkish history.
Strategy in Kurdish provinces did not work
The AKP also suffered a defeat in the Kurdish provinces. For the AKP did not benefit on Sunday from the temporary government receivership of the municipalities. The voters retrieved the old mayors of the HDP.
The local elections have a meaning for the whole country for two reasons. For one thing Erdogan proclaimed in the election would be the “preservation of state power” – and thus his own power – at stake. He made them themselves a plebiscite on his administration and the new, still controversial presidential system. On the other hand, nationwide political changes in Turkey have always been visible in local elections for half a century.
The AKP, as it was before, has reached its end. Erdogan himself has repeatedly complained of a “fatigue” of his previously successful spoiled party. Either it renews itself or the renewal takes place via the reestablishment of a party from its ranks. There are enough inner-party dissidents ready for this.
If that does not happen, more voters will move to the opposition. The only consolation for Erdogan is that there will be no elections for the next four years.