‘Red-wave’ CHP storms Turkey’s local elections according to unofficial results

With more than 99 percent of the ballot boxes counted across Turkey's local administrations, the main opposition CHP surprises by winning the majority of the municipalities, surpassing the ruling AKP's vote share, and taking over some key AKP municipalities.

Red colors indicate CHP wins, whereas yellow indicates AKP wins, dark blue MHP wins, purple DEM wins, green YRP wins, light blue İYİ Party win, and cyan BBP win

Duvar English

Turkey has voted in the local elections on March 31. In a surprising result, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) seems to arise as the leading party, ahead of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

As of April 1 morning, the CHP has garnered more than 37 percent of the votes according to the state-run AA with more than 99 percent of the ballot boxes counted, followed by the ruling AKP with around 35 percent of the votes in Turkey overall. Accordingly, the CHP appears to win in 35 provincial municipalities out of 81, whereas the AKP remains at 24.

2019 local elections results with brown color indicating MHP wins

The unofficial results suggest that the CHP has gained key municipalities from the AKP, including inner Aegean provinces which were regarded as AKP strongholds.

The CHP also seems to win in more than 25 districts in Istanbul. The party was able to gain only 14 districts out of 39 in Istanbul in 2019.  

Moreover, the party is most likely to win in the municipal councils in Istanbul and Ankara, which was not the case in 2019. The municipal councils, led by the AKP, presented an obstacle for the mayors in this period. 

Although the results need in-depth analysis, the citizens seem to punish the ruling AKP because of the cost of living crisis only 10 months after the general and presidential elections, in which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was able to comfortably win against former CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.

Kılıçdaroğlu lost the party congress in November against Özgür Özel after the presidential defeat.

According to unofficial results, the CHP has won in Burdur, Denizli, Uşak, Kütahya, Bursa, Kırşehir, Kırıkkale, Kilis, Adıyaman provinces, where it was difficult to imagine a CHP victory before the elections.

The results indicate that the social-democrat party has been elected as the leading party in an election since 1977, CHP leader Özgür Özel said. 

The results also indicate that Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu and Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş will be Erdoğan’s, or the AKP’s, main contenders in the upcoming presidential elections. Both mayors have been able to win comfortably for a second time.

İmamoğlu and Yavaş celebrated their victories with their supporters on late March 31.