Turkey's ruling AK Party to lodge objection over Istanbul voting results

Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his wife Emine greet supporters after the results of the local elections were announced in Ankara

Erdogan's political success has rested on years of stellar economic growth in Turkey, but an economic recession that has brought surging inflation and unemployment and a plunging lira currency have taken their toll on his popularity.

However Wolfango Piccoli, co-president of Teneo political risk advisers, said the AKP had lost seven of the country's 12 main cities, even without taking Istanbul into account.

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) mayor candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) candidate Binali Yıldırım both claimed victory yesterday, although the ultimate outcome still remains uncertain.

"As of 15:00 today, we have submitted all our appeals to the district electoral councils", Bayram Senocak told reporters in Istanbul, as he waved ballot records in which he said the vote count irregularities could be seen.

He said Imamoglu was leading in Istanbul by almost 28,000 votes early Monday.

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In Istanbul, the country's largest city and economic hub, the CHP mayoral candidate was more than 22,000 votes ahead of his AKP opponent as the last votes were being counted, according to the country's electoral board. Erdogan's own ascent to power began there in 1994.

It is more likely than not that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will eventually accept the AKP's loss of the Istanbul and Ankara municipalities. In Ankara, the CHP has won 50.9% of the votes while the AKP garnered 47%.

Yavuz underlined that a greater number of votes had been disqualified in districts where AK Party had won, including Istanbul.

The government had led a hostile campaign against Yavas and his party, accusing him of forgery and tax evasion.

More than 57 million voters were eligible to choose leaders for 30 major cities, 51 provincial capitals and 922 districts in Turkey, as well as thousands of local positions.

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Speaking from the balcony of party headquarters in Ankara early Monday, where he has for years declared victory, Erdogan said he and his allies had come out first. He said the party would work to understand what had gone wrong and fix where they failed.

The Turkish lira, which swung wildly tmsnrt.rs/2CEaO11 in the week ahead of the elections, echoing last year's currency crisis, initially weakened on Monday as much as 2.5 percent before recovering. The turnout was a very high 84.52 percent.

In mainly Kurdish southeast Turkey, residents celebrated as the pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) won back municipalities that authorities had taken control of two years ago, accusing the HDP of terrorist links.

Dr. A. Kadir Yildirim, a fellow for the Middle East at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, in his comments to Sputnik expressed opinion that such results of the municipal elections were absolutely not expected by the ruling AK Party.

The Council of Europe in its statement acknowledged Turkey's security concerns but said Turkey's definition of terrorism was not consistent with European standards.

Barty ousts Kontaveit, gets Pliskova in Miami final
Auger-Aliassime, 18, became the youngest-ever Miami semi-finalist after seeing off world No. 13 Borna Coric 7-6 (7/3) 6-2. Regardless of the final result, the veterans can rest easy knowing the game will be in good hands when they're gone.

Sean Darby, chief global equity strategist, said: "Despite conflicting claims over the local election results during the past weekend, President Erdogan's clasp on power remains tight".

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