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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Local elections in Turkey. Success of the Turkish opposition

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After losing the presidential and parliamentary elections last year, it was a fight for the highest stakes for the Turkish opposition. To stay in the game with a chance of removing Recep Tayyip Erdoğan from power. The opposition won local elections in the largest cities. Also in Istanbul.

Those who do not understand the nation's message will ultimately lose, President Erdoğan's greatest political rival, Ekrem İmamoğlu, mayor of Istanbul from the Republican People's Party, triumphantly told the crowds of his supporters. – Orders and instructions are issued by the nation, not one person. Officials receive guidance from the people. Today the period of one-man rule has ended. Has become. The republic and democracy are now in full swing, said İmamoğlu.

The opposition wins local elections in the largest cities and thus returns to the game. After losing the presidential and parliamentary elections last year, this success was for her to be or not to be.

İmamoğlu, who will continue to be the mayor of Istanbul, which has a population of 16 million, emphasizes that voters sent Erdoğan a direct message.

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Local elections in TurkeyReuters

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The Turkish president admitted that democracy won and that his party's voting results were not satisfactory. He's going to analyze them. – March 31 is not the end for us, but a turning point. The Turkish people conveyed their message to politicians. We will not in any way disregard the decisions of our nation. We will avoid stubbornness, as we have done so far, announced Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey and chairman of the Justice and Development Party, after the results were announced.

53-year-old Ekrem İmamoğlu, unlike the Turkish president, is a supporter of a secular state, is perceived as Erdoğan's rival in the fight for the presidency. His Sunday victory can be considered symbolic because, in a sense, he follows the path of the current president. Erdoğan began his political path in Istanbul – 30 years ago he became the mayor of this city.

The opposition is back in the game

– Whoever won in Istanbul had a great chance to rule all of Turkey later. Because it is the largest metropolis and if he (a politician – editor's note) proved himself there, he gained a very large mandate, a large legitimacy to run in the presidential elections and win the elections – explains Miłosz Wieczorek, a Pole living in Turkey and author of the blog “Wieczorek Orientalny”.

The Turks showed the current government a yellow card mainly due to the terrible economic situation. Critics accuse the government of violating human rights, suppressing the opposition, and journalists and judges who are inconvenient to them. Another victory could further strengthen Turkey's authoritarian and Islamist course.

SEE ALSO: Turkish opposition celebrates, Erdogan talks about 'turning point'

– I'm counting on a new era. I expect a better future for retirees, young people and women, admits Jale Senol, a resident of Ankara.

– Those who slandered innocent patriots and practiced dirty politics have once again lost in the face of the will of the inhabitants of, among others, Ankara. And they will continue to lose, says Mansur Yavaş, mayor of Ankara from the Republican People's Party.

The next presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey are scheduled to take place in 2028. For now, Erdoğan announces that he will not run again.

Main photo source: EPA/ERDEM SAHIN

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