Ruling AKP loses hold over Turkish capital

Turkey's ruling party AKP lost control of the capital city Ankara, despite an overall lead
Newly elected mayor of Ankara, Mansur Yavaş, from the opposition party CHP
Monday, 01 April 2019 09:42

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ruling party AKP has clearly lost the capital city, according to the results of the local elections on Sunday.

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and İyi Party's (Nation Alliance) joint candidate Mansur Yavaş won Ankara, with nearly two percentage points ahead of his rival AKP's candidate Mehmet Özhaseki. Özhaseki had been the mayor of the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri for five successive terms.

While the opposition candidate Mansur Yavaş received 50.9 percent of the votes, the AKP candidate received 47.06. 

The Nation Alliance’s candidate, Yavaş was running for the third time for the capital’s municipality. In 2009, he was the mayoral candidate of the ultra-nationalist MHP, which was not an ally of the ruling AKP then. In 2014, he was presented as CHP's candidate against the ruling party’s then-mayor Melih Gökçek, but lost with a slight difference and claims of election fraud.

The AKP has obtained victory in 18 districts out of 25 in Ankara, while in the previous local elections in 2014, it won 21 districts.

The AKP entered the elections in Ankara without its long-serving mayor Gökçek for the first time since 1994. Gökçek took the office on March 27, 1994, and has served as mayor ever since. In the 1994 local elections, he was elected the mayor of Ankara, along with President Erdoğan, who was then chosen as the mayor of İstanbul. He was forced to resign from the seat in 2017 by the President Erdoğan.