Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has held onto public support in its local elections which have been held against a background of accusations of government corruption and leaked phone conversations alleged to be of Prime Minister Erdogan and top officials by the social media.
The AKP has increased its lead compared to the 2009 local elections from 38.8% to 46%. Meanwhile the main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) only achieved 27% of the votes. However, the CHP opposition party Deputy Chairman Deputy Chairman Haluk Koc has contested the results, accusing state-run Anadolu News Agency of extreme bias and manipulation.
Even though these were local elections, following the political furore over high level corruption allegations which began 17th December, 2013 and a fight between the Prime Minister, social media and press, it is whether or not Erdogan has retained his public support that attracts the most attention in the news.
Further confusing the issue, two main Turkish news agencies, state controlled Anadolu agency and privately run Cihan news agency have reported widely differing results leaving people wondering if they have been the subject of Cyber-attacks.
It was also reported that a number of provinces had to count the votes by candlelight following a series of power cuts in various regions.
In the meantime, PM Erdogan has claimed victory and threatens punishments for those who are behind the allegations of corruption and the social media leaks.