Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party on Tuesday appealed election results in Istanbul and Ankara, claiming irregularities in the voting cost them mayorships in both cities.
Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) won a majority of votes throughout Turkey in Sunday’s local elections, but trailed in Istanbul, the country’s economic hub, and Ankara, the capital. If the initial outcomes hold, it would be a political setback for the Turkish leader, who campaigned extensively for his party’s candidates.
AKP’s Istanbul chief, Bayram Senocak, said the party had filed objections about the voting in all 39 districts in the city. “We have identified irregularities and falsifications,” he said.
Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate Ekrem Imamoglu claimed victory in the mayor’s race in Istanbul by 28,000 votes over AKP’s Binali Yildirim, a former Turkish premier.
Imamoglu told reporters, “Had the other party won, I would have said ‘Congratulations, Mr. Binali Yildirim,’ which I do not say because I am the one who won. They are behaving like a kid who has been deprived of his toy.”
In Ankara, opposition CHP mayoral candidate Mansur Yavas was ahead of AKP’s Mehmet Ozhaseki by nearly four percentage points, according to the state news agency Anadolu, but the AKP said it was contesting the results in 25 districts.
Electoral authorities have two days to decide whether the claims of vote irregularities have any merit.