ANKARA, Turkey — The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) increased its nationwide vote by 7% in the March 30 local elections compared with the ones in 2009. It emerged victorious in 49 of 81 metropolitan municipalities. It won 29 cities with a clear majority, and only fell below 40% of the vote in four of the cities in which it triumphed, showing once again that it has a homogenous presence across the country.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan turned this election into a confidence vote following the Gezi Park protests and the graft probe that brought even his family members under judicial review, and he proved to be unshakable at the ballot box. While the opposition parties appeared to have all the political weapons needed to score against Erdogan, they were the losers.