The battle of Istanbul will shape Turkey’s future
13th May, 2019
Mstyslav Chernov (cropped) - CC BY 4.0
It came as a surprise to many international observers when, on 31 March, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost local elections in many of Turkey’s major cities, including Istanbul and Ankara. A city of 16 million people, Istanbul has been the centrepiece of AKP’s financial system and social networks since 1994 – when a young Erdogan became mayor and started his march to power. Few suspected that Erdogan could lose an election there. Yet the vote not only took Istanbul from Turkey’s ruling party but also challenged the notion that Erdogan was invincible and would remain president for life.
More:The battle of Istanbul will shape Turkey’s future | European Council on Foreign Relations