Turkey’s Opposition Strikes Back in Historic Local Elections

Turkey’s Republican People’s Party (CHP) has achieved a historic electoral success, not seen since 1977, sweeping a total of 35 provinces in the country’s local elections, with the AKP coming second having secured its candidates’ mayoral election in just 24.


Set to win both the capital city Ankara and Turkey’s most populous metropolis, Istanbul, the mayorship for the latter Erdogan’s AKP had first lost to the CHP’s Ekrem Imamoglu in another equally surprising but more tumultuous election night in 2019, the CHP has risen back to being the first party in Turkish politics after 47 years.

Results as of 0030 local time with some 86.60 % of the ballot boxes counted.

The ballot box contained yet more surprises with the conservative Islamist New Welfare Party (YRP) seizing two mayorships in the traditionally AKP-voting central Anatolian district of Yozgat, and in the south-eastern district of Urfa. The latter is the most Kurdish-populated province, according to the 2023 census, that also registered at least 46 fatalities in the February 2023 earthquakes and subsequent floodings. Responsibility had been assigned to President Erdogan for encouraging a corruption-ridden construction boom during his two-decade rule of unsatisfactory regulatory standards and a profound lack of oversight.