Turkish elections: Erdogan's failings are too big to hide

Nationwide, AKP remains the largest party with 45 per cent of the vote, according to partial results released by Anadolu state news agency with 91 per cent of ballot boxes opened.

The AKP has lost the capital city of Ankara to the CHP as well as the third biggest city Izmir in local elections held on Sunday.

The opposition CHP party candidate for Istanbul mayor, Ekrem Imamoglu, was leading by almost 28,000 votes with most ballot boxes counted, Supreme Election Board (YSK) chairman Sadi Guven said.

Speaking from the balcony of party headquarters in Ankara early Monday, where he has for years declared victory, Erdogan said he and his allies had come out first.

In Istanbul, the mayoral candidate of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), Ekrem Imamoglu, and his AKP rival, ex-prime minister Binali Yildirim, both said Imamoglu was around 25,000 votes ahead.

The source added that Istanbul - Turkey's largest city - accounted for 40 percent of Turkey's economy, meaning that any slowdown would hit the city hard.

The AKP's loss in Ankara to an opposition bloc led by the mayoral candidate, Mansur Yavaş, ended 25 years of the Islamist party's dominance over the capital and sent shockwaves throughout the country.

Preliminary results showed the opposition flipping the capital Ankara and surrounding areas from Erdogan's alliance, and taking control of key Mediterranean coastal cities. Opinion polls showed that the election campaign would be most intense there. After Yildirim claimed victory, Imamoglu gave a speech denouncing the election result as a "manipulation" and indicated that he would challenge it. Erdogan got 52.6 percent of the vote in June. CHP-supported had 4,111,219 votes with 98.8 percent of ballots counted, ahead of the AK-backed candidate with 4,106,776.

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"The Istanbul uncertainty.may stay in the forefront and overshadow other developments in the markets", said one banker who declined to be identified.

Reacting to the release of early results, President Erdogan said his party was leading by far across Turkey and that losing some cities was "the necessity of democracies".

Central Bank "backdoor tightening" over the last week to prevent a repeat of last year's lira crisis, when the currency fell 30 percent, "did not really increase confidence in their policy making", Leuchtmann said.

Erdogan plans to respond to the elections with stepped-up austerity and war.

"We will carry out economic reforms without compromising on the rules of the free-market economy", he told reporters.

The AKP's ability to maintain a narrow majority of support among voters points to the bankruptcy of not only the CHP, but also the HDP and a variety of petty-bourgeois, pseudo-left organizations that enthusiastically joined the CHP-led "Nation Alliance".

Erdogan, for his part, expressed thanks to Aliyev for his honest wishes during the conversation in which both leaders affirmed that the friendship and fraternal ties between Baku and Ankara would continue to increase. Inflation is in double digits, and foreign currency debt payments are high.

Leaders across the world on Monday congratulated Turkey's president for his party's win in local elections.

  • Darren Santiago