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    Erdogan Suffers Heavy Defeat in Local Elections – Loses Top 5 Municipalities, His Party Second Nationwide

    After his party's defeat in Turkey's local elections, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, "March 31st for us is not the end, it is a turning point."

    The Turkish president is picking up the pieces after the crushing blow dealt by his opponent Ekrem Imamoglu in Istanbul and other major cities.

    Opposition candidates scored sweeping victories in the country’s largest cities, most notably with Ekrem Imamoglu’s triumph in Istanbul. At least in the top 5 municipalities of the country, the Republican Party takes the lead.

    However, the Kemalist CHP is declared the top party nationally in the local elections, while the Kurdish DEM emerged third.

    According to preliminary results, the Republican Party seems to lead the country by almost two points. This marks the first time such an event has occurred in 35 years.

    Specifically, such a feat had not been seen by the Kemalist CHP since 1977, under the leadership of Bulent Ecevit.

    In Istanbul, Erdogan’s candidate faced a painful defeat as the Turkish president had invested in reclaiming the country’s largest municipality, but saw Ekrem Imamoglu dominate with almost a 10-point difference from his opponent Murat Kurum.

    Erdogan: Will Undertake Self-Critique “Courageously” – AKP “Lost Ground Nationwide”

    Addressing the crowd gathered outside the AKP headquarters in Ankara, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said after his party’s electoral defeat on Sunday that “March 31st for us is not the end, it is a turning point.” according to Lemonde

    “Although the results of the ballot have not yet been finalized, they show that we have lost ground nationwide. Of course, we will analyze the reasons for this decline at the local level. Wherever we lose, wherever we lag behind, we will identify the reasons and make the necessary interventions,” Erdogan said.

    He added that self-critique will be undertaken “courageously,” admitting that the AKP “lost ground nationwide.”

    He dismissed rumors of early elections following the election results, saying that “Turkey has over four years ahead until the next elections, which are as precious as a treasure.”

    He appeared reassuring to the markets, assuring that “until today, the government has implemented the medium-term program and the 12th development plan decisively.”

    Finally, he said that “regardless of the results, the winners of these elections are primarily our democracy and our nation.”

    According to the results, with 99.98% of the votes counted, Imamoglu is the clear winner.

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