This local election looks like the one that was held in 2009: Turkish local elections, 2009
Erdoğan’s aggressive nationalist rhetoric lost him some major cities. AKP, by then, was not all rhetoric and its leadership actually took lessons from the election results. However, current AKP leadership is not the one to take lessons. But it grasps the country governance strongly. Thus, Erdoğan explicitly threatens the voters that even if they elect the opposition candidate in Ankara, Mansur Yavaş, he will probably be deposed.
In 2009, AKP had more claim on good municipal governance. A decade later, many AKP mayors were deposed due to corruption. Although this is never acknowledged. Mayors are asked to resign. Yes, even Ankara and İstanbul mayors were asked to resign, too. AKP municipalities initiated massive infrastructural work in the first years but in the last decade, they have gradually given in to usual corruption that infests the county. Most cities are now ugly sites of disorganized concrete buildings. AKP is so tired, it cannot present a single new promise but intensely dwells on accusing opposition with terrorism charges. Not only a party with more 6 million voter base is already criminalized, but all major opposition parties are also shamelessly accused.
Under normal conditions- yes, under normal conditions- AKP will lose votes/municipalities despite its unholy alliance with the national party, MHP. It is now too obvious: The toll of the currency crisis. As far as I understand, it will definitely lose Ankara. Istanbul is still contested but after a fair election campaigning period, opposition candidate would have more chance. Some believe it might also lose Istanbul municipality but I am not that sure. In any case, AKP is so furiously attacking the opposition and so intensely rejecting public polls that I began to think they might actually be anxious. I do not have much information about other major cities but there might be surprises, I am told.
A direct observer told me today, her brother had to attend Erdoğan’s rally today and take a photo of himself in order to protect his position. Her uncle, too. Although there are claims like that all the time, I tend to think that these are mostly unverified information, some sort of counter-propaganda or limited to small towns where government pressure is always harder. Now I see it actually happens everywhere.
The moment you think an election campaign can’t get any weirder, think twice. pic.twitter.com/J4m8bviGnW
— Ethemcan (@muhalefetserhi) March 20, 2019