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Erdogan concedes defeat in Turkiye local polls – SUCH TV

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan conceded defeat on Sunday in the country’s local elections, saying the vote was a “turning point” for his party after two decades in power.

Partial results from across the nation of 85 million people showed major advances for the Republican People’s Party (CHP) at the expense of Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Istanbul’s mayor, the opposition’s Ekrem Imamoglu, claimed re-election with nearly all ballot boxes opened, telling a euphoric crowd of supporters: “Tomorrow is a new spring day for our country.”

Final results are expected to be released on Monday (today) by the country’s electoral commission.

Erdogan, 70, had launched an all-out personal campaign to win back Istanbul, the economic powerhouse where he was once mayor. Rampant inflation and an economic crisis have, however, hit confidence in the ruling party.

Large crowds filled the square outside the opposition party’s Istanbul city headquarters waving Turkish flags and lighting torches to celebrate the result.

After casting his vote, Imamoglu emerged to applause and chants of “Everything will be fine”, the slogan he used when he first took the city hall from the AKP in 2019.

The 52-year-old is increasingly seen as the biggest rival to Erdogan’s AKP ahead of the next presidential election in 2028.

In Ankara, mayor Mansur Yavas — also of the CHP — claimed victory in front of large crowds of supporters, declaring “the elections are over, we will continue to serve Ankara”.

“Those who have been ignored have sent a clear message to those who rule this country,” he added.

Yavas led with 58.6 per cent of the vote to 33.5pc for his AKP opponent, with 46.4pc of ballot boxes opened.

Opposition supporters celebrated victory in Izmir, Turkiye’s third-largest city, as well as in the southern city of Antalya.

Some AKP stronghold towns were at risk of being lost, results indicated. “Voters have chosen to change the face of Turkiye,” said CHP chairman Ozgur Ozel as the results emerged.

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