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Turkey's ruling AKP loses Ankara, Istanbul as opposition springs to life

Turkey's ruling party lost big in the municipal elections and the main opposition party took Ankara and Istanbul, which the Justice and Development Party and its Islamist forerunners had controlled for the past 25 years.
Supporters of Republican People's Party (CHP) celebrate on a main square in Ankara, Turkey, April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Umit Bektas - RC1DFFF7A1F0

After decades in the doldrums, Turkey’s main opposition scored several major victories against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in nationwide municipal elections Sunday, snatching the political capital, Ankara, and the commercial capital, Istanbul, from its jaws and injecting renewed faith in what has long seemed a broken political system.

The election results saw the AKP lose several other major cities, including Antalya, a major tourist hub on the mediterranean, and Mersin a major port to the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) along with Bolu and Bilecik in the west, Sinop in the north and Ardahan in the east. The AKP also lost to its electoral ally, the Nationalist Action Party, in seven cities, although their so-called "Public" bloc led the polls with 51.63% of the overall vote.

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