Erdogan's Alliance Set to Lose Ankara as Fight Brews in Istanbul

Mansur Yavas obtained 50.9 percent of the vote, while AKP's Mehmet Ozhaseki had won 47.06 percent, with 99.8 percent of the ballots counted, the Hurriyet Daily news reported.

Erdogan acknowledged that the AKP may have lost city hall to the CHP challenger, although he said his party remained the largest in the city.

"Most probably he will emphasize guaranteeing a certain level of economic growth until the next general elections", said Emre Erdogan, a professor at Istanbul Bilgi University and no relation to the president.

Preliminary results also showed the opposition, the People's Republican Party (CHP), ahead of the President's Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Istanbul.

Even before the final figures were announced, Erdogan's ally and former Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said he won the race in Istanbul, Turkey's commercial hub, a claim rejected by the opposition, which said it won.

In the days leading up to the vote, Erdogan held around 100 rallies across the country. It lost control of two cities where government loyal security services have been posted to the AKP. He did not specify which percentage of votes had been counted. Election campaigns are a chance for Mr Erdogan to travel across his vast country, showcasing the populist genius that has kept him at the top of Turkish politics for 16 years.

AKP took almost 45% of the votes after 90% of the more than 194,000 ballot boxes were counted, according to the state broadcaster TRT.

But in a sign of possible turmoil ahead, AKP officials said they would challenge the alleged invalidation of tens of thousands of votes in both cities.

More news: Chicago PD Investigating Itself Over Jussie Smollett Leaks

Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party led the weekend local elections, capturing 15 metropolitan municipalities (larger cities) and 24 cities, according to early results as of Monday morning.

"We, as Turkey, will impose our powerful economic program in accordance with our aims and without concessions on the rules of free market economy", he declared.

On the other hand, The Nation Alliance, led by Republican People's Party (CHP), bagged 37.6 percent nationwide.

"If (Erdogan) can not create a solution, it's inevitable that there will be greater losses in the period ahead", another party source said.

The lira tumbled nearly 30 percent against the dollar a year ago and Turkey's economy has tipped into recession.

Erdogan has also indicated that he is planning to intensify military operations targeting Kurdish forces in neighboring Syria, where the Turkish bourgeoisie fears that US-backed Kurdish militias could set up an independent Kurdish state and win support from Kurds inside Turkey itself.

The opposition candidate said the result was manipulated and the party's leader also claimed victory in televised remarks.

The decline in urban support for his conservative, religious-based party came despite the fact that Erdogan wields tight control over the media, which hardly covered the opposition candidates' campaigns. He framed the local elections as a matter of "national survival", accusing opposition parties of links to terrorism and blaming inflation on foreign powers seeking to undermine the country.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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