Is this the Beginning of the End for Turkey's Erdogan?

Jul 3, 2019 | 19:25 GMT

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a meeting at the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, on June 29, 2019.

The results of the Istanbul mayoral do-over election on June 23 appear to have caught Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by surprise. He has not been able to articulate a clear response to the opposition candidate's overwhelming victory.



  • In Turkey, the opposition's Ekrem Imamoglu soundly defeated his ruling party opponent by more than 800,000 votes in the June 23 Istanbul mayoral election redo — a vast increase from Imamoglu's first, narrow win on March 31.
  • The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) experienced major metropolitan loses not only in Istanbul but also in the capital, Ankara, and elsewhere as voters expressed their dissatisfaction with the AKP and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
  • In the coming days or weeks, former AKP officials and Erdogan allies will break away from the governing party to establish a rival political party. The move will weaken the AKP and Erdogan's base of power and force supporters to choose between Erdogan and the splinter group. 

The June 23 redo of the Istanbul mayoral election produced an embarrassing outcome for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. More than 800,000 votes separated Ekrem Imamoglu, the opposition Republican People's Party candidate, from Binali Yildirim of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), a monumental increase from Imamoglu's narrow 13,000-vote margin of victory in the first Istanbul vote on March 31. The outcome reflected voter frustration with Erdogan's attempt to impose a victory in Turkey's premier city by nullifying the result of the first election and ordering a do-over. The outcome can also be seen as an expression of voter dissatisfaction with the way Turkey's economy is being run and the lack of attention the AKP is giving ordinary citizens' concerns about inflation, unemployment and divisive political rhetoric....

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