Opposition poised to win city parliaments in Istanbul and Ankara

Following the surprising victory of the opposition in Turkey’s mayoral elections, there is expected to be another triumph for the center-left CHP party in the city parliaments of Istanbul and Ankara. Preliminary figures indicate that the CHP has replaced the AKP as the strongest force in both representations, as confirmed by a member of the electoral authority.

The CHP had previously won the mayoral positions in both cities in the 2019 local elections but did not secure a majority in the city parliaments. The mayors, Ekrem Imamoğlu in Istanbul and Mansur Yavas in Ankara, had complained about being blocked by the majority of the Islamic conservative AKP. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had referred to them as “lame ducks.”

Imamoğlu faced hindrances in obtaining loans for his projects and delays in construction projects due to the city parliament, while Yavas accused the parliament of impeding the expansion of a sewage treatment plant in Ankara. Both CHP politicians also blamed the central government for politically motivated blockades, citing delays in approval of metro projects and cutting off funds for the municipalities.

The loss of power by AKP indicates a significant shift in power dynamics within these municipalities, with CHP likely having more autonomy to implement their agendas without hindrance from an opposing majority. The changing landscape could have implications for governance and development of these cities over coming years.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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