ArmInfo. Failure of the Justice and Development Party in the local elections in the major cities of Turkey indicates that there is an internal political crisis in the country, which will become a definite stimulus for activation of the opposition forces in the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections in November 2019. Dean of the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Yerevan State University, Turkologist Ruben Melkonyan expressed this opinion to ArmInfo.
To recall, on March 31 in Turkey 13 political parties run in elections to local governments. The ruling Justice and Development Party of Recep Erdogan won the elections in the whole country, however it lost in 21 provinces, including such large cities as Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Adana and Antalya. "Given Erdogan's political past, he himself got into politics, winning local elections and becoming the mayor of Istanbul, these elections are of great importance for the Turkish president. This is a kind of indicator. That is why, in general, the recent local elections were highly politicized and, undoubtedly, went beyond the various problems of local self-government.
It doesn't matter that AKP defeat in Istanbul, is not finally clear, given the ruling party's protest against the election results, "he said. AKP appealed to the country's Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) requesting a recount in Istanbul and in other large cities. At the same time, the Council refuses to consider similar applications from the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in the south-east of the country. Moreover, YSK refused to provide the document necessary for the official assumption of office to several elected mayors and councilors from the HDP.
The defeat of the AKP candidate in Ankara and, possibly, in Istanbul, the turkologist explains by the fact that these <capitals> have ideological congeniality with the ideas of the secularism of the creator of New Turkey Kemal Ataturk. Meanwhile, the secularism and even the figure of Mustafa Kemal is unacceptable for the current, in fact, Islamist government.
"Against this background, the success of the Kemalist People's Republican Party in the large Turkish cities doesn't cause much surprise. This party has extensive representation and political cells in all of them. By adding to this skillful election campaign and a representative candidate, you can completely fix the success," concluded Melkonyan.