Erdogan loses Ankara and perhaps also Istanbul

There are no final results yet. In the three major cities Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir the winner seems to be the Kemalist CHP party. In Istanbul the CHP candidate leads with 27,000 more votes. But it is necessary to recount votes from 84 polling stations.

Istanbul (AsiaNews) - President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's party suffered a severe blow in local elections held yesterday. According to provisional results and local media revelations, the AKP would have lost in the capital Ankara and is also losing in Istanbul.

The winner in both cases would be the Kemalist CHP party. Even Izmir, the third largest city in the country, would have passed to the CHP.

Both parties, so far, are competing for victory in Istanbul. This morning, Sadi Güven, president of the Supreme Electoral Council, declared that for now the CHP candidate, Ekrem İmamoğlu, is ahead in the counting of the cards for almost 28 thousand votes. But he also said that the cards will have to be recounted in 84 seats due to disputes.

The AKP's defeats mark a turning point in the party's history, which has continued to win every election since 2002. Analysts point to the country's economic problems as the cause of the electorate's disaffection with the president and his party. Turkey has slipped into recession and inflation has reached 20%, with a high percentage of unemployment.

Erdogan, who led a massive election campaign focusing on the "terrorism" of his opponents and "security", has already promised that Turkey will immediately implement a "strong economic program".