Turkey’s unofficial local election results indicate that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) won 45.6 per cent of the votes, thus controlling 18 provinces with major Turkish cities, including Istanbul and Ankara, out of 47 provinces and 586 administrative districts. This means that the party has registered a significant seven per cent increase in public support compared to the 2009 elections, when the party won 38.8 per cent of the votes and controlled 45 provinces, including ten major provinces, and 481 administrative regions.
Turkey’s media are reporting that AKP maintained its popularity in the 38 provinces in comparison to the 2009 elections, most notably in Istanbul, Ankara, Bursa, Gaziantep, Konya and Erzurum, the birth city of Fethullah Gulen, the leader of the religious group that the government accuses of penetrating state institutions, including the security services and judiciary, to form a parallel state.
Furthermore, AKP won nine provinces from the opposition parties, including: Antalya from the Republican People’s Party; Balıkesir, Kastamonu, Uşak and Ardahan from the Turkish National Movement; Burdur from the Democratic Left Party; Sivas from the Unity Party; and Şanlıurfa from an independent mayor.
Meanwhile, AKP also lost six provinces: Kars and Rize in favour of the Turkish National Party; Burdur and Hatay in favour of CHP; and Ağrı and Bitlis in favour of the Peace and Democracy Party.
The opposition Republican People’s Party, the oldest party in Turkey, won 27.8 per cent of the votes to control 14 provinces, including six major provinces with major cities and 170 administrative regions, achieving a slight progress compared to the 2009 elections, when the party won 27.5 per cent of the votes and controlled 13 provinces, including three major provinces, and 180 administrative regions. It also maintained its popularity in ten provinces compared to the 2009 elections, most notably in Izmir, which the AKP has been working hard to win over, and Çanakkale.