01 April 2024

Good News Out of Turkey

Erdoğan lost big in local elections.

My guess is that the Turkish people are getting sick and tired of incompetence, corruption, and Erdoğan's increasingly autocratic rule:

Turkey's main opposition party retained its control over key cities and made huge gains elsewhere in local elections on Sunday, March 31, preliminary results showed, in a major upset to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had set his sights on retaking control of these urban areas.

With more than 90% of ballot boxes counted, incumbent Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, of the Republican People's Party, or CHP, was leading by a wide margin in Turkey's largest city and economic hub, according to the state-run Anadolu Agency. The city topped the list of targets for Erdogan's ruling AKP after losing it to Imamoglu in 2019.

Mansur Yavas, the mayor of the capital, Ankara, retained his seat with a stunning 25-point difference over his challenger, the results indicated. "The elections are over, we will continue to serve Ankara," Yavas said.

In all, the CHP won the municipalities of 36 of Turkey's 81 provinces, according to Anadolu, making inroads into many strongholds of Erdogan's party. It gained 37% of the votes nationwide, compared to 36% for the president's party, marking the CHP's greatest electoral victory since Erdogan came to power two decades ago.


AKP supporters opted to stay away from the ballot stations or voted for other parties, [Turkish think tank chief Sinan] Ulgen said. "Turnout was relatively low compared to past elections," he said. "There were cross-party shifts in the vote, which did not happen in the national elections because of stronger ideological attachments. This time around the economy prevailed over identity."

To quote political analyst, and walking penis, James Carville, "It's the economy, stupid."

More significantly, the wins in local elections are significant because this means that the opposition will continue to control a large number of patronage jobs, and this translates into political power.  (It's how Erdoğan leveraged his post as mayor of Istanbul into national political prominence.)


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