HomeCricketTurkey local election: Erdogan battles key rival

Turkey local election: Erdogan battles key rival


Related stories

Knight Online’ın Türkiye sahibine KVKK’dan ceza

KVKK, internet ortamında faaliyet gösteren çevrim içi Knight Online...

Jose Mourinho dan geleceği hakkında flaş açıklama

Emanuel Roşu'ya açıklamalarda bulunan Mourinho, "Kariyerimdeki en büyük başarı,...

2024 MEB YKS online giriş sayfası!

Milli Eğitim Bakanlığı, 2024 YKS öncesinde Türkiye genelinde yapılacak...

A Milli Takım EURO 2024 Aday Kadrosu Belli Oldu

Türkiye Futbol Federasyonu, heyecanla beklenen EURO 2024 için A...

MUHTEMEL 11 LER | Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadı nda vedaların günü

Gaziantep Futbol Kulübü karşısında "final gibi" bir maça çıkan...


31 March, 2024, 09:55 am

Last modified: 31 March, 2024, 10:05 am

Supporters of Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan wave flags during a rally ahead of the local elections in Istanbul, Turkey March 30, 2024. REUTERS/Umit Bektas


Supporters of Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan wave flags during a rally ahead of the local elections in Istanbul, Turkey March 30, 2024. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Turks vote on Sunday in nationwide municipal elections focused on President Tayyip Erdogan’s bid to reclaim control of Istanbul from major rival Ekrem Imamoglu, who aims to reassert the opposition as a political force after bitter election defeats last year.

Istanbul Mayor Imamoglu dealt Erdogan and his AK Party the biggest electoral blow of two decades in power with his win in the 2019 vote. The president struck back in 2023 by securing re-election and a parliament majority with his nationalist allies.

Sunday’s votes could now reinforce Erdogan’s control of NATO-member Turkey, or signal change in the major emerging economy’s divided political landscape. An Imamoglu win is seen fuelling expectations of him becoming a future national leader.

The Business Standard Google News
Keep updated, follow The Business Standard’s Google news channel

Polling stations open at 7 a.m. (0400 GMT) in eastern Turkey, with voting elsewhere starting at 8 a.m. and ending at 5pm. Initial results are expected by 10pm (1900 GMT).

Polls suggest a tight race in Istanbul, a city of 16 million people that drives Turkey’s economy, where Imamoglu faces a challenge from AKP candidate Murat Kurum, a former minister.

The results are likely to be shaped in part by economic woes driven by rampant inflation near 70%, and by Kurdish and Islamist voters weighing up the government’s performance and their hopes for political change.

While the main prize for Erdogan is Istanbul, he also seeks to win back the capital Ankara. Both cities were won by the opposition in 2019 after being under the rule of his AKP and Islamist predecessors for the previous 25 years.

Erdogan’s prospects have been helped by the collapse of the opposition alliance that he defeated last year, though Imamoglu still appeals to voters beyond his main opposition Republican People’s Party.

Voters of the main pro-Kurdish party were crucial to Imamoglu’s 2019 success. Their DEM party this time is fielding its own candidate in Istanbul, but many Kurds are expected to put aside party loyalty and vote for him again.

In the mainly Kurdish southeast, DEM is looking to reaffirm its strength after the state unseated pro-Kurdish party mayors following previous elections over alleged ties to militants.

One factor working against Erdogan is a rise in support for the Islamist New Welfare Party due to its hardline stance against Israel over the Gaza conflict and dissatisfaction with the Islamist-rooted AKP’s handling of the economy.

- Never miss a story with notifications

- Gain full access to our premium content

- Browse free from up to 5 devices at once

Latest stories