Homehttps://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/Worldhttps://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/Istanbul mayoral vote: Is "disastrous" loss beginning of Erdogan's end?
Istanbul mayoral vote: Is "disastrous" loss beginning of Erdogan's end?
As the scale of Ekrem Imamoglu's victory became clear, his supporters thronged his election headquarters. Lining the street outside was a row of cameras. Among them: Turkey's state broadcaster TRT, heavily under the thumb of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
A woman approached, waving here Turkish flag face of Mr Imamoglu at the TRT cameraman. "Now you're going to film us?", She cried, "we're here, now we are!"
It encapsulates the feeling of an opposition that has been stifled for years, all the organs of the Turkish state controlled by Turkey's powerful, polarizing leader. Finally, the other side of this country feels like it has covered its mouth has been unclassified.
Rarely is a local election of such national importance. But Mr. Erdogan has built his political career over twenty-five years on a sense of victory and an aura of invincibility.
He was born in Istanbul, he was mayor and it propelled him to power first as Prime Minister in 2003 and then President eleven years later.
He has towered over an opposition that long been hopelessly divided. And he has thrived on seemingly unchallengeable.
Accruing ever more power through the devotion of his pious, conservative supporters, he has transformed Turkey economically and socially, every area from media to construction filled with loyalists who backed him in return for favors.
A 'disastrous miscalculation'
When his AK Party (AKP) lost Istanbul in March this year by a sliver ̵
1; just 13,000 votes – the electoral board was widely regarded as buckling under the government's pressure for a run, based on dubious claim or irregularities. 19659007] "Whoever wins Istanbul, wins Turkey", said the country's omnipotent president, assuming this was once again a gamble he would win. It was a disastrous miscalculation
Mr. Imamoglu won by a landslide – the largest in a mayoral election here in 35 years. Conservative areas of the city – Fatih (Istanbul's pious heart by the Blue Mosque), Tuzla (the constituency of the government candidate Binali Yildrim) and Uskudar (where President Erdogan himself lives) all backed Mr Imamoglu.