World leaders greet Erdogan for victory in municipal elections

Ankara [Turkey]: Leaders from across the world congratulated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for sweeping the municipal elections, despite his Justice and Development (AK) Party’s massive defeat in the bastions of Istanbul and Ankara.

Leaders, including President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, tripartite Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Chairman Milorad Dodik, former Bosniak member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bakir Izetbegovic, Guinean President Alpha Conde, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Russian President Vladimir Putin praised Erdogan for his victory, Anadolu news agency reported.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan took to Twitter saying, ” I am delighted to congratulate friend of Pakistan Recep Tayyip Erdogan on another important victory in the Turkish local elections. The people of Pakistan wish him many more successes.”

Turkish Presidential sources told Anadolu that according to unofficial results, the AK party bagged nearly 45 per cent of the vote in Sunday’s local elections.

The AK party, which has been dominating Turkish politics since 2002, captured 15 metropolitan municipalities (larger cities) and 24 other cities.

The AK Party candidates got the support of 44.42 per cent of voters on Sunday, beating the 30.07 per cent draw of the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP), which won mayoral races in 11 metropolitan municipalities and 10 cities.

However, the opposition People’s Republican Party (CHP) won Ankara, AK’s stronghold for decades, with more than 50 per cent of votes, and was leading with a narrow victory in Istanbul with 48.79 per cent votes.

According to Al Jazeera, election observers viewed this municipal election to be the first nationwide referendum on Erdogan’s leadership since he won presidential polls last year in June.

Official statistics showed that in the last two quarters of 2018 the Turkish economy slipped into its first recession in a decade, as inflation and interest rates soared due to the currency meltdown. The Turkish lira lost as much as 40 per cent of its value against the US dollar last year.

Addressing the issue at a gathering in Ankara, Erdogan said that the government would “make structural reforms to build a stronger economy against attacks”.