The AKP party of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has lost power in three major Turkish cities, the capital Ankara, Istanbul, where Erdoğan himself used to be mayor, and Izmir.
In a blow to a regime that has taken ever more authoritarian forms, in both cities the opposition CHP gained a majority. In Istanbul, CHP candidate Ekrem Imamoğlu won 48.79% of the votes, against former Prime Minister and AKP candidate Binali Yildirim, who gained 48.51%. AKP claimed that irregular votes could change the result in Istanbul. In Ankara, the margin was larger, with 50,91% for the CHP and 47,1% for the AKP.
The AKP nevertheless remains overall the largest party in Turkey. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, who is a public admirer of President Erdoğan, congratulated him on his victory.