Istanbul setback means an unpredictable future for Erdogan

Source:Ahval News Date:22Apr2019

It may be safe to say that the YSK stood up to immense pressure from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) circles. YSK’s institutional wisdom may have been endorsed by other dynamics within the state that led to its declaration of Imamoglu as the winner.

However, caution is called for. An “extraordinary appeal” by the AKP and its ally, the Nationalist Movement Party, is pending. It may lead to another surprise — a cold shower for the opposition — that Istanbul finds itself as the arena of a rerun of the vote.

For Erdogan the damage is done. Despite that his party had an overall 52% of the national vote, the defeat was highly personal for him. When — or if — the Istanbul vote is finally judged by the YSK, Erdogan will have lost six of the seven biggest cities in Turkey, meaning a significant loss of control over a very large portion of the economy.