After Losing Istanbul Vote, Turkey’s Erdogan Wants a Do-Over

Blames 'organized crime' for failure to win major city

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has not handled his party’s poor performance in local elections well, and is continuing to try to find a way to fix the results, particularly in Istanbul. On Monday he suggested that the city may need to revote entirely.

Erdogan’s original plan was to recount all votes in Istanbul, but the High Election Board has rejected the bulk of the recount, allowing for only 51 total ballot boxes to be recounted in 21 districts.

Though Erdogan’s AKP actually did win a slim majority across the nation, the loss of Istanbul and Ankara was particularly embarrassing. Erdogan’s start as a mayor in Istanbul meant his party losing that city was quite a blow.

The AKP tried to downplay the loses at first, suggesting that by the time the results were finalized, they were confident all the cities would end up in their hands, a slim loss in Ankara looks unlikely to be reversed.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of