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'Turning point': Turkey’s opposition party deals local elections blow to Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan conceded defeat on Sunday in the country's local elections, saying the vote was a "turning point" for his party after two decades in power.

Partial results from across the nation of 85 million people showed major advances for the Republican People's Party (CHP) at the expense of Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Istanbul's mayor, the opposition's Ekrem Imamoglu, claimed re-election with nearly all ballot boxes opened, telling a euphoric crowd of supporters: "Tomorrow is a new spring day for our country."

Final results are expected to be released on Monday by the country's electoral commission.

Erdogan, 70, had launched an all-out personal campaign to win back Istanbul, the economic powerhouse where he was once mayor. Rampant inflation and an economic crisis have, however, hit confidence in the ruling party.

Large crowds filled the square outside the opposition party's Istanbul city headquarters waving Turkish flags and lighting torches to celebrate the result.

After casting his vote, Imamoglu emerged to applause and chants of "Everything will be fine", the slogan he used when he first took the city hall from the AKP in 2019.

(AFP)


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