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Erdogan's AK Party challenges Istanbul local election results

Erdogan's AK Party challenges Istanbul local election results

"But the fact is, I won, and we have election records signed by the relevant parties to prove that", he said.

In Istanbul, the mayoral candidate of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), Mr Ekrem Imamoglu, and his AKP rival, ex-prime minister Binali Yildirim, both said Mr Imamoglu was around 25,000 votes ahead.

The CHP's candidate claimed victory in the Istanbul elections and urged the AKP not to resort to unnecessary means to challenge the outcome.

In the week leading up to the elections, Turkish stocks, bonds and the currency sold off, prompting the government to direct banks to temporarily starve a key London market of lira liquidity, according to officials.

Unofficial results reported by Anadolu showed Mansur Yavas, the candidate of the CHP, winning the top post in Ankara.

The loss for Erdogan's party comes a year and a half after Turkey became a presidential-style republic after a referendum, mainly owing to the President's popularity.

President Erdogan is to contest more than 300,000 votes in Istanbul, which his party lost to the main opposition in local elections. The opposition also retained its hold over Izmir, Turkey's third-largest city.

Polling in Turkey's municipal elections began on Sunday morning, with 57 million eligible to vote in the country's 81 provinces and closed across the country on Sunday morning. The ruling party is also frequently accused of using state resources to campaign.

A strategic decision by a pro-Kurdish party to sit out critical races in major cities contributed to the opposition's gains.

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An AKP deputy chairman later said the difference between Imamoglu and Yildirim was down to 20,509 votes and would keep falling as a result of their appeals.

Dr. Demiralp concluded that the government realizes that losing Istanbul and Ankara is a major setback and if the CHP party mayors perform well in the next four years this could cost the AK Party the general elections.

Analysts told Middle East Eye that Erdogan considered the city to be of particular importance, not only because of its status as Turkey's economic and cultural capital, but because it is his hometown, from where he was propelled to national prominence after serving as mayor from 1994 to 1998.

The renewed slip in Turkey's financial markets and uncertain policy reaction to recession raises a risk of further capital flight, Moody's said, adding that the local poll results would help determine the future path of economic policy.

Despite eking out majority support across the country, defeat for Erdogan's Islamist-rooted party in Ankara was a significant blow for the president.

The Turkish lira, which swung wildly tmsnrt.rs/2CEaO11 in the week ahead of the elections, echoing last year's currency crisis, initially weakened on Monday as much as 2.5 percent before recovering.

"If the two new mayors of these cities, Imamoglu and Yavas, do a good job, they can significantly increase their parties' electoral success in the 2023 general elections".

The CHP's Istanbul head Canan Kaftancioglu said her party submitted objections in 22 districts, adding they expected to receive 4,960 more votes after the appeals were resolved. The HDP denies links to the outlawed militant Kurdistan Workers' Party.


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