Erdogan shaken as voters desert him over rising prices

Erdogan Party Leads Nationwide Vote Total, But Suffers Big Setbacks In Mayor Races

Results from Sunday's ballot also showed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's AKP was set to lose the capital Ankara in what would be a major upset for the ruling party in power for a decade and a half.

In the third-largest city, Izmir, the CHP candidate, Mustafa Tunc Soyer, was leading with 58 percent votes while AK Party's Nihat Zeybekci stood at 38.5 percent.

Erdogan, who began his own political career as Istanbul mayor, personally campaigned hard across Turkey, often with several rallies a day, even though he was not on the ballot.

Speaking from the balcony of party headquarters in Ankara early Monday, where he has for years declared victory, Erdogan said he and his allies had come out first.

The capital city was held by Erdogan's Justice and Development Party, the AKP, and its Islamic-oriented predecessor for 25 years.

The Turkish lira, which swung wildly tmsnrt.rs/2CEaO11 in the week ahead of the elections, echoing last year's currency crisis, initially weakened on Monday as much as 2.5 percent before recovering.

"The AKP can make self-criticism about their rhetoric, which is a polarizing discourse, and the situation may change in the new period", he added.

Erdogan portrayed the election as a victory for AKP, which along with coalition partner, the rightwing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), won around 52 percent of the votes nationwide.

China's Huawei posts higher profit as smartphone sales hit record
The issue took centre stage at the press conference for foreign and worldwide media at the company's Shenzhen headquarters. It has launched a more aggressive strategy in recent months to counter what it sees as an American "smear" campaign.

Last year, after Erdogan announced snap parliamentary and presidential elections for June, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Monitoring Committee voiced concern over their freedom and fairness and recommended they be postponed.

The polls posed a major challenge for Erdogan, given a backdrop of high inflation and rising unemployment sparked by a major currency crisis previous year. Turkey's benchmark interest rate of 24 percent barely keeps the currency stable and at the same time puts a prohibitive cost on borrowing for Turkish firms.

"The (lira) market is focusing on the positive that it could have been a worse result for AKP and Erdogan has also said he will respect free markets, which would be positive if it happens", said UniCredit EM FX strategist Kiran Kowshik. Turkish authorities say the measures are necessary to combat threats to national security, threats which Erdogan repeatedly highlighted on the campaign trail.

Parties have three days to file objections and official results are expected in the coming days.

Imamoglu won nearly 4.16 million votes while the Justice and Development Party (AKP) candidate, former premier Binali Yildirim, garnered 4.13 million.

CHP candidate Mansur Yavas won the mayoral race in Ankara, preliminary results showed.

"They robbed us of our will and we overturned this", said Abdullah Elmas, a resident of Diyarbakir, the region's biggest city.

"I am afraid we.are not fully convinced that Turkey now has the free and fair electoral environment which is necessary for genuinely democratic elections in line with European values and principles", said Andrew Dawson.

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