Wednesday, 03 April 2019 00:00

"Spring" hits Ankara and Istanbul

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More than 57 million Turkish  used  their  right to vote and  elect mayors and city council members throughout the country on Sunday (03/31/2019). The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost in the capital city of Ankara and Istanbul. This defeat was seen as a blow to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his 16 years in power. As per the political tradition in Turkey, the struggle for the position of governor or mayor in metropolitan Ankara and Istanbul was highlighted by local elections because it was a barometer of people's aspirations towards the political and economic policies of the central government. However, in general,  from local elections held throughout the country, the AKP and its coalition are still superior with more than 51 percent votes. This election, considered to be very decisive for the future of Erdogan's government, was held when the Turkish economy was deteriorating. The currency exchange rate has continued to decline lately and Turkey has been hit by economic recession in the last three months. The defeat in the country's capital certainly could not be accepted  by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). AKP Secretary General Fatih Sahin via his Twitter account said he immediately protested and would reject  the results of the vote in Istanbul and the Igdir province in the east part  of the country. Erdogan in response to the defeat of his support party insists that he prefers the 2023 general election. Meanwhile, chairman of the opposition party, the Republican People's Party (CHP) Kemal Kilicdaroglu,  stressed that "spring" was sweeping Ankara and Istanbul. He even equated what happened in the two cities with the 2011 Arab spring revolution  which toppled dictatorial regimes in several Arab countries. The results of local elections in Turkey are suspected as a reflection of the rejection of urban communities in Ankara, Istanbul and several other major cities to the efforts of the Justice and Development Party and Erdogan to cover Turkey's economic crisis with issues of security, terrorism and foreign conspiracy. "Spring" in Ankara and Istanbul will certainly be an evaluation material for Erdogan in the face of the 2023 general election.

Read 626 times Last modified on Friday, 05 April 2019 08:28