Erdogan Appears to Suffer Major Defeats in Turkey’s Two Biggest Cities – The New York Times

ISTANBUL — President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party on Sunday was facing defeat in local elections in the Turkish capital, Ankara, and possibly even Istanbul, its largest city, a result that shook the nation as Mr. Erdogan suffered the first major electoral setback of his decade and a half in power.

The municipal balloting around the country came nine months after national elections that extended Mr. Erdogan’s hold on power. It was closely watched as a barometer of his standing with voters after Turkey’s economy fell into recession and he assumed sweeping new executive powers.

Mr. Erdogan claimed victory over all in the elections, pointing to results that showed his Justice and Development Party 15 points ahead of the opposition Republican People’s Party in districts nationwide.

But for the first time in his political career, Mr. Erdogan was tasting defeat in mayoral races in the center of Turkish political power, Ankara, and maybe even in his hometown, Istanbul, the country’s business center.

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