ISTANBUL – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan faced allegations within his ruling party and wider circle of supporters on Monday as the magnitude of his candidate's defeat in the Istanbul mayoral contest became clear.
Opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu, according to preliminary results announced Monday by Sadi Guven, chairman of the High Electoral Council, was the landslide winner of the mayoral election against Mr Erdogan's candidate, Binali Yildirim, thereby confirming a significant defeat for the governing party.
Mr. Erdogan will now have his hands full to stem the consequences of the electoral defeat, the biggest in his political career, which had come after his catastrophic decision to seek a repeat of mayoral elections after Mr Imamoglu's victory at the first vote in March ,
"Earthquake at the ballot box", was the headline of the Karar newspaper, which was founded three years ago by journalists who had once been close to the AKP government.
[ForPresidentErdogan The bill for the debt-driven growth of Turkey is due.
In the Sunday elections, Mr. Imamoglu won with 54 percent of the vote, compared with 45 percent for his opponent, Mr. Guven said. Mr Imamoglu's profit margin was higher than in the March elections – he won over 800,000 votes compared to a narrow victory with 13,000 votes in the first ballot – and voter turnout increased by one percentage point to 84 percent.
Official results will be announced after the deadline for filing and reviewing complaints. So far, the profit margin of commentators and politicians on all sides was seen as a sign of the indignation of the voters in the second vote.
"Hit the people," announced Evrensel, a left-leaning newspaper that frequently criticizes Mr. Erdogan, on their front page. "Istanbul has made its choice," was the headline in three government-related newspapers.
Following the loss of the party in the March elections and the subsequent cancellation of that vote
complaints have already been made in the party According to analysts, Erdogan is likely to deteriorate immediately after the defeat at home.
"The big question is, will he ultimately stick to the ultranationalist alliance and continue the paranoid state of security or reverse the course and attempt to reform? "Said Asli Aydintasbas, a senior official of the European Council for Foreign Relations.
Mr Erdogan's biggest challenge is a movement headed by a former AKP President Abdullah Gul and a former Finance Minister, Ali Babacan, form a breakaway party. Both men support many of the ideals of the A.K.P., in particular the conservative market policy, with social support for the political base of the low-income party.
Mr. Erdogan is likely to seek some changes to partially mitigate any of the renegade group's challenges, but this could destabilize his alliance with Devlet Bahceli and the Nationalist Movement Party, which he relies on to secure the presidency and a majority in parliament. 19659002] The Istanbul mayor's race may seem relatively unimportant in the context of a national leader, but Mr. Erdogan's stakes – and risks – are high as his party relies on funding from business leaders and corporations Have benefited from contracts.
Now, not only has Mr. Erdogan lost access to this source, but Mr. Imamoglu will also have access to records that could contain details which may have benefited embarrassing cronyism and lavish spending by the supporters of the President.
Mr. Imamoglu got a taste of it during the 17 days he spent in office before having to step aside during the re-election. During this time, he discovered that Istanbul, the economic capital of Turkey, had dozens of cars available to the mayor and millions were earmarked for the officials' homes while the city was sinking into debt.
In addition, the city of Istanbul paid millions of Turkish newspapers reported that members of Mr. Erdogan's family made charitable donations last year.
The pro-government columnists are already trying to distract the mood by writing in the morning papers that Mr. Erdogan would turn to foreign policy to improve his image. This suggested that after such a defeat, the president would not weaken his stance, but rather take a militant stance in discussions abroad.
The pro-government newspaper Aksam had argued Turkey's dispute with the United States over the purchase of The Russian S400 missile system as a leitmotif with the title "S400 is a matter of sovereignty."
"The most common feeling among people today is betrayal by their historic allies, the US, France, and Britain and Germany," wrote Hakki Ocal in the pro-government daily Sabah. Following the election campaign of the new mayor, he wrote: "Turkey has got up this morning and believes that everything will be alright and keeps a watchful eye on its region."
Mr. Erdogan is likely to continue with the purchase of the Russian S400 rocket system despite American objections, Ms. Aydintasbas said, hoping that President Trump will mitigate the blow by renouncing sanctions or choosing the least harsh sanctions.
"Trump is the one In this equation, he may give the Turkish head of state the compromise he seeks. "
In Europe, Mr. Erdogan, who has fired, cleaned and detained tens of thousands of people since 1945, has arrested tens of thousands of people. A failed coup in 2016 – some political prisoners detained in Turkey must be released to improve the relationship, Ms Aydintasbas said.
Business leaders have also informed Erdogan that imprisoned journalists and civil society will be released Activists would smooth relations with the European Union, said Bahadir Kaleagasi, secretary general of Tusiad, an association of Turkish industry and business, in a recent interview For months, Osman Kavala, a philanthropist often referred to as George Soros of Turkey, was tried on Monday. He is accused of trying to overthrow the government for supporting protests in Taksim Square in 2013.
One of the strongest voices in the presidential circle, columnist Hilal Kaplan, signaled that the political struggle for Turkey was by no means over.
The AKP It reminded readers that the Alliance may have lost Istanbul and some of the largest Turkish cities to the opposition People's Party (CHP), but it won the presidential and parliamentary elections last year and general local elections in March 52 to 54 percent of the vote.
"In the future we will observe the CHP leadership, which tries to master the challenges, to take responsibility and govern with a variety of partners," she wrote. "We will also see how the A.K. The party will act as Istanbul's opposition party.
Anger under A.K.P. Members and former supporters of the party in the election disaster were seen in the social media.
Kemal Ozturk, former columnist for the pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak, who is well-connected in government circles, said the self-interest of Mr. Erdogan's circle had returned to hurt her.
"They did evil things as if they considered everything permissible for their small interests to be tainting, corrupting the religion, cause and belief of a vast community," he posted on Twitter. "That's the real thing we should be angry about. Losing Istanbul is small by comparison.
Mustafa Yeneroglu, an A.K.P. Legislators wrote on Twitter : "We have lost moral superiority."
"We can be the hope again if we practice righteous self-criticism," he wrote. "For that we should give up the past and the myths and look to the future and the dreams of youth. Focus on rationality, legal superiority, separation of powers and fundamental rights. "