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Turkey’s Erdogan Concedes Ruling Party’s Loss to Opposition

Turkey’s Erdogan Concedes Ruling Party’s Loss to Opposition
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By Staff, Agencies

Turkish President Recep Tayyep Erdogan has acknowledged an electoral defeat for his Justice and Development Party [AKP], after it was projected to have lost to the opposition in Sunday’s municipal elections.

The top offices in Turkey’s largest cities were among those contested at the ballot box. The ruling party’s main challenger, the Republican People’s Party [CHP] has managed to retain the mayor ships in Istanbul and Ankara – the economic powerhouse of the country and its capital, respectively. Erdogan has sought to win back the key cities that his party ceded five years ago.

The CHP prevailed in 36 of Turkey’s 81 provinces, including in some traditional AKP strongholds, the news agency Anadolu has said, citing preliminary results.

It won 37% of the votes nationally, compared to the AKP’s 36%. It was the strongest electoral performance of the secular nationalist political force in two decades. The outcome has turned the tables on Erdogan, who beat an alliance of six opposition parties led by the CHP in last year’s presidential election.

“We could not get the result we wanted in the local election test,” Erdogan said after the projections arrived, calling it a “turning point” for the AKP. “We will correct our mistakes and redress our shortcomings.”

He further added: “Regardless of the results, the winner of this election is primarily our democracy, the national will.”