April 20, 2024 5:01 am
Opposition poised to win city parliaments in Istanbul and Ankara

After the surprising victory of the opposition in Turkey’s mayoral elections, there is hope for another triumph in the city parliaments of Istanbul and Ankara. Preliminary figures suggest that the center-left CHP party is set to replace the AKP as the dominant force in both representations, as confirmed by a member of the electoral authority.

The CHP had previously won the mayoral positions in both cities in 2019 but fell short of securing a majority in the city parliaments. The mayors, Ekrem Imamoğlu in Istanbul and Mansur Yavas in Ankara, had faced challenges due to their minority status, including obstacles in obtaining loans for their projects and delays in construction projects. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had dismissed them as “lame ducks.”

However, with the AKP’s loss in both cities, it seems that power dynamics are shifting. The CHP is likely to have more autonomy to implement their agendas without hindrance from a majority opposition. This could have significant implications for governance and development in these cities moving forward.

In Istanbul, Imamoğlu faced difficulties getting funding for his projects due to resistance from parliament members who were not part of his party. He also experienced delays on construction sites due to bureaucratic hurdles placed by parliament members who did not support his plans.

Meanwhile, Yavas accused parliament members of blocking his efforts to expand a sewage treatment plant in Ankara. He also blamed central government interference for politically motivated blockades related to metro projects and cuts to municipal funds.

Both politicians had complained about being stifled by a majority conservative government and referred to themselves as “lame ducks” due to their minority status.

Now that they have more power, it will be interesting to see how they will implement their agendas and what changes they will bring about for their respective cities.

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