Turkish local elections: Opposition victory heralds change


A woman in Ankara celebrates election victory of the opposition in the night after the Local Elections in Turkey held on March 31. Photo: Tunahan Turhan, SOPA Images/Sipa USA

The PES congratulates its Turkish associated member parties CHP and DEM on their stunning victory in the Turkish local elections held on Sunday. CHP (Republican People’s Party) triumphs in Istanbul, Ankara and almost in all Western Turkey, and DEM (Dem Party) managed to secure victory in Diyarbakır and many key cities in Eastern Turkey.

PES President Stefan Löfven said:

 “This is a great victory for democracy and a giant step towards a better future of the Turkish people. I would like to personally congratulate the leader of CHP, Özgür Özel,  the re-elected CHP mayors of Istanbul – Ekrem Imamoğlu and of Ankara – Mansur Yavaş for their bravery and their great results. I would like to thank to the other PES associate member party DEM, and their co-leaders  Tuncer Bakırhan, Çiğdem Kılıçgün Uçar on their great results, especially in Eastern Turkey.

Erdogan is losing the local elections in the entire country, leaving room for the opposition to breath and to come back victorious at the next national elections. We are looking forward to that. “

PES secretary General Giacomo Filibeck added:

“The opposition on Turkey managed to win the hearts and the minds of the people in major cities like Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Bursa, Adana, Antalya, Diyarbakir, and many others.  This is a total defeat for Erdogan and his AK Party (AKP) in their more than two decades in power and a might be a turning point for the country.  We will keep on fighting for the human rights and the freedom of the imprisoned Selahattin Demirtaş and all other opposition politicians, lawyers, university professors, teachers, journalists and democratic-minded Turkish citizens held in prisons by Erdogan. We will keep on supporting our member parties in Turkey in their fight for democracy and human rights.”

The PES has been supportive to the two major opposition parties in Turkey for decades. We raised our voices and organized missions to Turkey in support of our member parties at every attempt of Erdogan’s authorities to crack the voice of democracy and progress.