Turkey Election: Erdoğan AKP Setback (Praises Democracy)

Turkey Election: Erdoğan AKP Setbak (Praises Democracy)

Nuray Lydia Oglu and Sawako Utsumi

Modern Tokyo Times

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan acknowledged that local election results for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) were disappointing. However, he praised the people of Turkey (Türkiye) for strengthening the democratic process.

Erdoğan said, “We recognize no power above the will of the people. We have never failed to honor and accept the esteem of our nation and bow to the will of the nation.”

Erdoğan continued, “The results of the ballot boxes show us that we have lost height. We will discuss the reasons for this local regression. We will identify the problems and take the necessary measures.”

The BBC reports, “The outcome was a significant blow for the man who has led Turkey for the past 21 years. This was the first time since he came to power that his AK Party was defeated across the country at the ballot box.”

The outcome of the local election isn’t fully known. However, early results show the main opposition party (the Republican People’s Party – CHP) having a good night. Accordingly, the CHP announced victories in 14 metropoles – including Ankara, Istanbul, and Izmir.

The CHP is set to muster roughly 37% to 38% of the vote. This surpasses recent local elections going back over three decades.

Ekrem Imamoğlu (Mayor of Istanbul – CHP) said, “Starting from tomorrow, Turkey will be a different Turkey. You opened the door to the rise of democracy, equality, and freedom … You ignited hope at the ballot box.”

AKP is projected to win between 35% to 37%.

Hürriyet Daily reports, “The initial results indicate a big leap in the votes of the CHP, especially in regions where the AKP has been traditionally strong such as Bursa, Balıkesir, Denizli, Uşak, Kütahya, Kırıkkale, and Afyonkarahisar.”

In the Anatolian region (southeastern area), the Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party) won the metropoles of Diyarbakır, Mardin, and Van.

Lee Jay Walker (Modern Tokyo Times analyst) says, “Despite the setback for Erdoğan, the mercurial leader of the country still holds sway over many of the electorate. Accordingly, with inflation rates reaching over 60% (in recent times) and interest rates of a staggering 50%, Erdoğan will be optimistic about bouncing back – providing the economy rebounds. Therefore, while the CHP is rightly rejoicing a positive local election result – it isn’t doom and gloom for Erdoğan and the ruling party.”

The projected turnout is roughly 76% of the electorate.

Overall, the local election highlights the passion of the electorate – and regional differences in Turkey.

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