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ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan suffered a severe setback as his ruling AK Party lost control of the capital Ankara for the first time in a local election and he appeared to concede defeat in the country's largest city, Istanbul.
Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics since coming to power 16 years ago and ruled his country with an ever tighter grip, campaigned relentlessly for two months ahead of Sunday's vote, which he described as a "matter of survival" for Turkey.
But the president's daily rallies and overwhelmingly supportive media coverage failed to win over the country's capital or secure a definitive result in Istanbul, as Turkey's economic downturn weighed heavily on voters.
Turkish broadcasters said opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) candidate Mansur Yavas had won a clear victory in Ankara, but the vote count in Istanbul was so tight that both parties declared the narrowest of victories.
"The people have voted in favour of democracy, they have chosen democracy," opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said, declaring that his secularist Republican People's Party (CHP) had taken Ankara and Istanbul from the AK Party and held its Aegean coastal stronghold of Izmir, Turkey's third largest city,
Defeat for Erdogan's Islamist-rooted party in Ankara was a significant blow for the president. Losing Istanbul, where he launched his political career and served as mayor in the 1990s, would be an even greater symbolic shock and a broader sign of dwindling support.
originally posted by: Irishhaf
a reply to: 727Sky
Wont matter till the military turns on him, his party got shellacked a couple years ago but between the military support and the opposition parties failure to unify he maintained power.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday attacked the results of a recent election in which his party lost control of Turkey's major cities, as well as the perception that the surprise outcome portends the beginning of the end of his hard-line rule.
Erdogan's AK Party filed objections to the results of Sunday's local election in which it lost control of the districts representing Istanbul and the capital, Ankara. The outcome favored the main opposition party in both cities and undermines the president's plans for combating widespread recession in Turkey.
The party claimed that errors among the ballots affected the outcome, Reuters reported, and followed through on prior assertions it would challenge the results where officials observed voting irregularities. A spokesman for the party in Istanbul said it would take legal action against election officials who made errors.