At the end of March, Turkey held local elections all around the country. While there were no parliamentary elections up for a vote, Erdogan’s AKP was very much on the ticket with his right-hand man, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, running for Mayor of Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul.
And the AKP lost. Not only did they lose Istanbul, they also lost the capital Ankara and Izmir.
Erdogan was not happy to say the least. Weeks later the courts, which Erdogan purged of any opposition after the phony coup, eventually declared a re-vote in Istanbul.
That re-vote was held today.
For the last week or more Erdogan has been publicly slamming the CHP candidate, Ekrem İmamoğlu, in hopes of sending Yildirim to a victory. But that’s not what happened.
The CHP candidate won with more than 700,000 votes over Erdogan’s candidate, AKP’s Yildirim.
According to Ahval News, İmamoğlu increased his victory from March 31st by 6 percent!
In other words, all the work Erdogan did to force a re-do of the Istanbul vote and then to smear the CHP candidate for the last week ended in disaster for him. And this could mean big changes for future parliamentary elections because Istanbul is such a large city.
How Erdogan responds to all of this remains to be seen, but I can’t imagine with all the power he has now that he’s just gonna let this crushing defeat stand. He might not move on this in the short-term, but my guess is that he’ll find some reason to undermine the election results and perhaps even have them overturned.
After all, we’ve seen how Erdogan systematically took over media companies in order to silence any opposition. How much more important are Turkey’s largest cities, now that they are controlled by his opposition?