Historic loss for Erdogan’s AKP in Ankara local polls

Apr 01, 2019, 3:50 AM EDT
Acknowledging the loss in several cities, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to implement a “strong economic programme.”
(Source: World Humanitarian Summit/flickr)

Turkey’s ruling party, the AKP has lost control of the capital, Ankara, in local elections for the first time in 25 years – a result that may fire up a long subdued opposition and could be a precursor to a change in a seemingly invincible political leadership.

In the country’s largest city and economic powerhouse, Istanbul, the AKP and the opposition CHP are locked in a tight race, with both sides claiming victory, notes the BBC.

While President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP-led alliance managed to secure 51 percent votes in municipal elections nationally, the loss of Ankara and the cliffhanger in Istanbul mark an “agonizing blow” to the leader, who had portrayed these polls as a matter of survival of the country.

The results are a clear sign of the AKP’s waning popularity amid an economic downturn fueled by high inflation, rising unemployment, and sliding currency, reports Al Jazeera. Acknowledging the loss in several cities, Erdogan vowed to implement a “strong economic program” with his sights set on the 2023 national elections.