Turkey's ruling party leads in local elections

Turkey arrests over 60 Kurdish politicians on eve of elections

Turkish police officers lead Kurdish politicians they arrested in the southern city of Adana

"Erdogan's AKP has lost significant votes in the country's economic powerhouses", Wolfango Piccoli, co-president of Teneo Intelligence in London, said in an emailed report on Monday.

Some of the biggest cities did not go the way of the AK Party as the CHP won the mayorship of Ankara for the first time in 25 years, Izmir predictably went the way of the CHP and according to the Supreme Electoral Council of Turkey the opposition CHP is in the lead in Istanbul at the time of writing.

UNIAN memo. Istanbul is the largest city and financial capital of Turkey. General secretary Fatih Sahin said the party's objections over invalid ballots and other irregularities in Ankara would be lodged with the election board, which will accept appeals up to 3pm on Tuesday.

Erdogan has often blamed foreign powers and "speculators" for the currency fluctuations and other economic woes faced by Turkey - a message he repeated this week.

However, analysts say HDP voters could play a decisive role in Turkey's western cities where polls indicate close contests, especially Istanbul where the HDP has a strong base.

Two people are also injured in Istanbul's Kadikoy district in a fight between relatives of candidates running for neighbourhood administration posts.

"Turkey has incrementally moved from a situation whereby Turkish citizens would give 65 per cent of their votes to the centre-right, and the remaining 35 per cent to left-leaning parties". "Citizens can not buy anything". "I'm a trader, I'm retired, but I've never seen a downturn like this".

Speaking to thousands of supporters in Ankara, Erdogan portrayed the election as a victory for AKP, which along with coalition partner, the rightwing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), won more than 50 percent of the votes nationwide.

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants Smollett to reimburse the city $130,000 to cover the cost of overtime hours spent on the investigation. Smollett has maintained his innocence and said he has been " truthful and consistent " since the saga began.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, head of the CHP, told a rally in Eskisehir.

Instead, Ekrem Imamoglu, a soft-spoken opposition figure, appears to have pulled off a shock win over AKP powerhouse candidate, former premier Binali Yildirim, to end the ruling party's long reign over Turkey's largest city. Rather, they serve to offer totalitarian state leaders an oath of loyalty from the citizenry and a veneer of democratic legitimacy.

Mr Erdogan said Kurds had shown "they will not yield to a terrorist group or to those who have come out of the woodwork with the backing of a terrorist group".

The night also saw a communist city mayor take office for the first time as Fatih Mehmet Macoglu won in the eastern city of Tunceli. "And it is nearly certainly right".

State media reported that Erdogan's Islamic-based party won almost 48 percent of the votes across the country, while the main opposition party, the Republican Peoples' Party (CHP), bagged 31 percent of the vote.

"They have retained their 51 per cent majority in total, which is very important".

But with inflation at just under 20 percent and unemployment at a near 10-year high in December, he has also sought to reassure voters the economy is under control. At one on Saturday, the president sought to reassure voters and the party's usually conservative supporters that everything was under control. He blamed the lira currency fall on a campaign to undermine Turkey, led by the United States. He has said at campaign rallies that "whoever wins Istanbul, wins Turkey".

"All elections have turned into a race against the one-man regime, and people we call the opposition is trying to carve out some breathing space", Duzgun said.

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