Over 57 million people were eligible to vote and the pools closed at 4.00 p.m. in the eastern provinces and 5.00 p.m. in the west of Turkey.
Due to the high inflation rate and unemployment in the country, it is considered to be the most difficult elections Erdogan has faced since 2002, when he came to power in this election, drawing attention to the high probability of losing Ankara and Istanbul.
“President’s party faces defeat in some areas as country’s economic woes erode support”
At least 57 million people were eligible to vote on Sunday in contests in 30 cities and more than 900 districts around the country. While the ruling party (AKP) has won every vote since it first took office in 2002, for the first time the party is facing the prospect of significant defeat in several places, including the capital, Ankara.
Erdoğan’s 16 years in office have been distinguished by strong economic growth, but last year’s currency crisis has officially triggered a recession. Inflation is hovering at about 20%.
“Turkish Cities to Change Hands After Elections Without Erdogan's Power”
The opposition Nation Alliance of the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Good Party (IYI) is projected to snatch some big cities from the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP), in alliance with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
Economic woes will continue to weigh on Erdogan, the analysts predicted. The president rolled out a series of populist measures ahead of the vote to keep his base happy and trap foreign funds inside the country, but these steps may backfire in the longer run.
“Millions of people have voted in Turkey's local elections, which are widely seen as a referendum on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.”
The poll came amidst an economic downturn, with the governing AK Party fearing it could lose control of Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey's biggest cities.
The country is in recession, inflation is at 20% and the lira has plunged by a third in value, causing bankruptcies.
Voting ended in Turkey's eastern provinces at 4pm (13:00 GMT) and in western provinces at 14:00 GMT.
The polls pose a major challenge for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development (AK) Party given a backdrop of high inflation and rising unemployment sparked by a major currency crisis last year.
“Erdogan faces test to keep cities as Turkey votes”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's past electoral successes have been based on a strong economy, but with a weakening currency, inflation at double-digit figures and food prices soaring, his conservative, Islamic-based ruling AK Party (AKP) could lose control of key mayoral seats.
“Erdogan support tested in Turkish local elections.”
Tayyip Erdogan has become Turkey’s most popular, yet also the most divisive leader in modern history. Economic prosperity provided Erdogan and his party with previous election victories. But the party could lose key posts in the mayoral elections taking place in 30 large cities, 51 provincial capitals and hundreds of districts as Turkey copes with a weakened currency, a double-digit inflation rate and soaring food prices.