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Istanbul's Voters Deal Erdogan a Major Blow

Jun 24, 2019 | 17:38 GMT
People celebrate the victory of Republican People's Party (CHP) Istanbul mayoral candidate Ekrem Imamoglu over the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Binali Yildirim on June 23, 2019.

People celebrate the victory of Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul mayoral candidate Ekrem Imamoglu over the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Binali Yildirim on June 23, 2019. The AKP has lost control of Istanbul, although it remains Turkey's preeminent force around the country.

(BURAK KARA/Getty Images)

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's gamble to retain political control of Istanbul has failed. On June 23, the Republican People's Party's (CHP) Ekrem Imamoglu soundly defeated former Prime Minister Binali Yildirim of Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) in a rerun of the election to decide the Istanbul mayoralty. Imamoglu captured 54 percent of the vote, 9 percent more than Yildirim. The comfortable margin of more than 800,000 votes out of the 8.7 million cast in the election rerun dwarfed the 13,000-vote margin that separated the two candidates in the initial vote on March 31. Yildrim's victory in that initial contest had led the AKP to browbeat the country's electoral board into invalidating the election on the basis of vaguely defined electoral irregularities. ...

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