International media outlets saw Turkey’s opposition victory in Istanbul rerun poll on Sunday as a big blow to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his 16-years in power, with some possible future impact on Turkish politics.
Ekrem Imamoglu from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has once again won the Istanbul mayorship in the June 23 rerun, this time by a great margin due to public reaction to the annulment of the March 31 vote by the Supreme Electoral Council (YSK).
According to an early unofficial announcement on Monday by the YSK chair, Sadi Guven, Imamoglu garnered 54.21 percent of the vote against 44.99 percent of the candidate of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Erdogan, for the first time after an election, did not hold a televised press conference and just tweeted his congratulations to Imamoglu.
Reuters has defined the opposition’s “big” victory as a promise for a new beginning.
“Turkey’s main opposition claimed a decisive victory on Sunday, dealing one of the biggest blows to Erdogan during his 16 years in power and promising a new beginning in the country’s largest city,” said Reuters.
The second defeat will come as a crushing blow for Erdogan, who has for years warned his party faithful that losing Istanbul means losing Turkey.
Following the YSK-annulled one, the “second defeat came as a crushing blow” for Erdogan who has for years claimed that “losing Istanbul means losing Turkey”, according to Financial Times (FT). Erdogan’s political gamble backfired stunningly, wrote FT.
Imamoglu’s win may cause a chain of serious changes in Turkish politics, as it would be deemed the beginning of a decline for both the AKP and its leader Erdogan, such as a call for national election earlier than 2023 as scheduled, reported German state-owned Deutsche Welle, citing some Erdogan critics.