CHP mayoral candidate Savaş contests final results in Hatay province

Lütfü Savaş, the main opposition CHP’s controversial mayoral candidate for the quake-torn Hatay province, has contested the ruling AKP’s win in the metropolitan municipal election with less than 4,000 votes. 

CHP's mayoral candidate Lütfü Savaş (R) discusses election results at the party building in Hatay.

Duvar English

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) mayoral candidate for the southeastern Hatay province on April 2 stated that the party contested the results of the metropolitan municipality election of March 31. 

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) candidate won the municipality with less than a percentage point according to unofficial results, after the two parties went head to head in the vote count. 

Initial contestations are made to the district electoral boards and carried up to the Supreme Election Board (YSK) if necessary. 

Savaş said that his team would “work tirelessly” until they have accounted for every vote cast in the province. 

“We will keep working until we honor the Hatay public’s democratic will,” he stated in a social media post. 

Savaş’s candidacy has been shrouded in controversy since the CHP pushed to nominate him despite public outcry.

Hatay constituents were dissatisfied with the incumbent mayor’s performance in the aftermath of the Feb. 6 earthquakes and found him responsible for the problematic construction licensing in the province. 

Although the party said it would take the quake-stricken public’s grievances about Savaş, it refused to field an alternative candidate saying it would “risk” losing control of the province. 

Voters criticized the CHP for mishandling the nomination process and complained of being left without any options.

The Workers’ Party of Turkey’s (TİP) alternative option, former national footballer and popular figure in earthquake relief efforts Gökhan Zan, also fell through following bribery allegations.

Zan appeared on the ballots after the TİP withdrew its endorsement, and received only two percent of the votes.  

During the campaign process, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called upon the Hatay public to vote for the AKP candidate if they wished to "receive government services."

The province was devastated by the 2023 earthquakes. Some 25,000 people died and over 30,000 were injured. Reconstruction efforts remain insufficient even one year after the disaster.