Turkey elections pave way for bad economic choices

With more than 92 percent of ballots counted, the AKP took almost 45 percent of the votes in the March 31 election, state broadcaster TRT.

Erdogan acknowledged that the AKP may have lost city hall to the CHP challenger, although he said his party remained the largest in the city.

Binali Yildirim, the Justice and Development Party's candidate, on Monday accepted that his opponent Ekrem Imamoglu was leading in Sunday's election by about 25,000 votes in Istanbul.

A disputed election is emerging in Istanbul, Turkey's largest city, where voting resulted in a statistical tie.

Turkey has experienced years of rapid economic growth under Erdogan, underpinned by a construction boom and cheap loans, that have driven living standards ever higher and ensured the AKP won votes well beyond its core constituency of pious and conservative Turks. The AKP has said there were problems with many votes in both cities, and it would appeal results in every Ankara district.

The AKP and its Islamist predecessor have controlled Istanbul and Ankara for 25 years.

The Turkish leader did not directly mention the full election results there or in Istanbul.

"The aim behind the increasing attacks toward our country ahead of the elections is to block the road of the big, strong Turkey", Erdogan said on Saturday. AKP candidate Alinur Aktas carried Bursa with 49.5 percent of 1.6 million votes cast.

AKP's success has always been attributed to his effective economic expertise, but the national currency the Lira has been devalued days before the ballots were open, in addition to the fact that the country faced recession since the beginning of 2019.

Erdogan plans to respond to the elections with stepped-up austerity and war.

"We, as Turkey, will impose our powerful economic program in accordance with our aims and without concessions on the rules of free market economy", he declared.

Erdogan has also indicated that he is planning to intensify military operations targeting Kurdish forces in neighboring Syria, where the Turkish bourgeoisie fears that US-backed Kurdish militias could set up an independent Kurdish state and win support from Kurds inside Turkey itself.

In a Monday statement, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi congratulated neighboring Turkey over the successful holding of local and municipality elections, noting that democracy in the regional countries is the guarantee for the region's independence, security and stability.

In Ankara, Yavas - the candidate for both the opposition Republican People's Party or CHP and the nationalist Good Party - claimed victory in a large rally full of supporters waving red Turkish flags and setting off fireworks.

The opposition won Ankara, a ruling party stronghold for decades, and was leading a tight race for mayor in Istanbul, according to unofficial figures Monday.

In addition to Ankara, Mediterranean tourism hub Antalya, coastal province Adana and port hub Mersin looked headed for opposition control, with candidates allied to the CHP defeating mayors who won in the last municipal elections for one of two parties in Erdogan's alliance.