Photo Credit: Υπουργείο Εξωτερικών
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

The AK Party of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won almost half of the votes in local mayoral elections across the country this Sunday, but lost possibly the most important one of all – that of the capital city, Ankara.

The Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) won nearly 45 percent of votes after 90 percent of more than 194,000 of the ballot boxes in the country were counted, the state TRT broadcaster reported late Sunday night.

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By the night’s end it also appeared the CHP had won the ancient city of Constantinople — today known as Istanbul — as well.

The CHP Republican People’s Party – the secular main opposition party – had garnered 30 percent, by contrast.

But it was to the CHP that Ankara gave the majority of its votes, after 25 years under the control of Erdogan’s AKP and a prior party. The CHP candidate, 63-year-old attorney Mansur Yavas, won more than 50 percent of the mandates.

The CHP and its allies won a total of 20 mayoral posts, up from 14 in the previous local elections in 2014.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.