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Monday, March 30, 2009
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the BBC: Turkish PM’s party slips in polls

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party has won local elections by a wide majority – but nevertheless suffered a significant fall in support.

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) won about 39% of the vote, according to unconfirmed results – down from the 47% general election landslide of 2007.

Which is, of course, all the more problematic after certain boasts from on high:

The prime minister had boasted that his party would surpass the 47% share of the vote it gained in 2007, but instead suffered its first fall in support since sweeping to power in 2002, our correspondent says.

Still, what this actually means in terms of seats and such is not made clear in the article, which of course is ultimately the measure that matters. It does note that:

Secularist parties made inroads into AKP support in both Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, and the capital, Ankara.

Meanwhile, the AKP was well beaten in Diyarbakir, the largest city in the country’s Kurdish-dominated south-east, by the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party, and in Izmir by the Republican People’s Party (CHP).

CNN’s report notes:

More than 90,000 positions are up for grabs Sunday, from the mayor of Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul, which has a population of more than 12 million, to the muhtar, or headman, of the smallest Anatolian village.

The NYT (Turkey’s Governing Party Wins City Races) provides the following breakdown:

By late evening, the CNN-Turk news channel was reporting thatMr. Erdogan’s party, Justice and Development, led with 39.13 percent of the vote, while the main opposition, the Republican People’s Party, had 22.83 percent, and the nationalist People’s Action Party had 16.22 percent.

I tried to access Hürriyet, a Turkish paper with an English language services, but clearly a lot of others are trying to access it as well since all I can get is a busy browser that eventually resolves to a Page Load Error.

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4 Responses to “Local Elections in Turkey”

  1. MSS Says:

    BBC says the party “won local elections by a wide majority” and then goes on to say that it won 39% of the vote.

    That’s pretty far from a majority.

    I suppose the good folks at BBC really meant “margin.” One has to read a bit deeper into the article to find out that the runner-up party had 20%. Yeah, that’s a big margin, in the context of high fragmentation.

    I assume there are lots of independents and local parties in the mix, some of which might even be local allies of the AKP (for all I know).

    (Insert various frustrations over media coverage of elections here. And BBC is actually one of the better media outlets in elections coverage.)

  2. Dr. Steven Taylor Says:

    Yep.

  3. B. Minich Says:

    Note to politicians: never paint a political outcome as likely that, if it fails, will paint an election where your party wins as a failure. See: Repuiblicans, circa 2004-06, AKP here.

    It amazes me that politicians keep doing this.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Official numbers according to almost all Turkish media are AKP 39 percent, CHP 23 percent and MHP 16 percent. However, what we don’t see in world media is the dodgy dealings in the elections and counting votes. During the vote counting in Istanbul and Ankara when the opposition party CHP was leading, all of a sudden there was a cut in electricity! In those places there were never cuts in years. Then, the data was lost. But, after electricity was fixed governing party AKP began to led the votes in Istanbul and Ankara. In many places votes are being recounted. Also, there were votes burned and stolen by government party supporters, these were even filmed. Why don’t world media not talking about this? This is all over Turkish media.


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