April 13, 2024

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Türkiye: Imamoglu celebrates victory in the city with dancing and Pontic harp

Türkiye: Imamoglu celebrates victory in the city with dancing and Pontic harp

Ekrem Imamoglu takes off his jacket and tie and dances to the tunes of the Pontic guitar, celebrating his victory in the Istanbul municipality.

Thousands of his supporters celebrate with the huge statue of Kemal Ataturk in the background in front of the city hall.

“The officials have received a mandate from the nation. The period of one-man dominance ends today. It has been done. The country and democracy will move forward from now on.”

Erdogan's heavy defeat – he lost in all major municipalities in Türkiye

Ekrem Imamoglu defeated Recep Tayyip Erdogan's candidate, Murat Kurum, by 51% to 39%, and the Turkish president now faces the biggest defeat of his political career. This is not only because he lost in Constantinople, but also because the AKP mayoral candidates were also defeated in Ankara and Izmir, the three largest municipalities in the country.

Opposition victory in Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara

The huge triple defeat in the country's most important municipalities represents a heavy blow to Erdogan, who saw the ruling Justice and Development Party fall to second place for the first time in at least 20 years.

“March 31 is not the end for us. It is a turning point. We will analyze the election results honestly within our party and carry out our self-criticism with courage.”

In Ankara, Kemalist candidate Mansur Yavaş won 60%, compared to Erdogan's candidate Turgut Altinok, who received 31%.

“We do not see these results as a victory. There is no enemy. Each of us is an honorary member of our country and our nation.”

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In Izmir, the historic stronghold of the Kemalists, opposition candidate Cemil Tokay defeated Erdogan's candidate Hamzadag by 49%, who received 37%.

Historic change

The next day, Türkiye faces a historic turning point. The Kemalists' victory in the country's three largest municipalities casts a heavy shadow over Erdogan's omnipotence.

It seems that the decisive factor in Erdogan's defeat is the economic poverty that most of his voters suffer from.

“One explanation is that many here in Turkey are angry about the economic crisis and the government’s failure to control runaway inflation,” a Deutsche Welle press release said.

Newspapers close to the opposition today circulate headlines such as “Revolution at the ballot boxes,” while the pro-government press writes on their front pages that “municipalities have surrendered to the dirty alliance” of the opposition.

Could this heavy defeat be the final blow to the Turkish president's political future?

The German newspaper Tagesspiegel, under the title “The Beginning of the End for Erdogan’s Era,” estimates that Ekrem Imamoglu will be the next candidate for the Kemalists in the presidential elections in 2028.