The first local elections after the system changed in Turkey resulted very differently to what was expected. Although the ruling party AKP and its alliance MHP keep their voting rate almost the same, they lost many municipalities, especially metropolitans. Along 30 metropolitan municipalities AKP won 15, MHP 1, CHP 11 and HDP won 3. CHP (the main opposition party) won in İstanbul, Ankara, Antalya, Mersin and Adana. CHP, HDP in major and TKP (Turkey Communist Party) in Tunceli, will begin to govern the majority of the country through local authorities. In particular, the CHP will manage cities that are the heart of Turkey’s economy. Istanbul’s budget is larger than the budget of 15 countries in Europe.
The other winner of the ‘Allied’ local elections is the voter. The voters, who have shown a high contribution in recent elections, also went to the polls in this local election. Participation rate was 84.6 percent. The election results rejected policies based on polarization and tension. It pointed to normalization and coexistence. Accumulation of the anger showed that especially in Istanbul and Ankara, in almost all important cities resulted in the change of the governing of AKP.
Opinions about election results are usually gathered at some point. These opinions are as follows:
In this environment, where the AK Party has lost important industrial, commercial, financial and tourism centers, especially in Istanbul, Ankara and Antalya, the current AK Party-business relations pattern is no longer valid. It is clear that there is a crisis in the relations of the AK Party with the most self-supporting people (business circles associated with local governments). We must remind you that the social networks created with the support of municipalities to cope with the heavy social costs of globalization are very important to sustain the support of the AK Party. Thus, social networks based on favoritism (unlike previous periods) were created by municipalities and non-governmental organizations. The social assistance policy (in particular the sects, communities and associations and foundations associated with them) was based on party loyalty and favoritism, not citizenship, which is a universal category.
We have been living both democracy and an authoritarian regime simultaneously. On the one hand the polls, elections, political competition. On the other hand, there are developments such as media control, the elimination of judicial independence, and the use of state facilities in politics. CHP, winning the elections in important metropolitans is a big step to rebuild the democracy in Turkey.
Social and political life in Turkey, where a new equilibrium is established and open the beginning of a transformation. The fact that this transformation has begun does not mean that the problems in the legal plan are resolved. However, the municipalities that go to the CHP will create a new political and social environment with the resources, capacity and interaction power they have. This will create a constraint on the Erdogan regime.