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Erdogan concedes local elections setback, calling results 'turning point' for his party

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who leads the Justice and Development (AK) Party, conceded on Monday that his ruling alliance did not achieve the desired results from Sunday's local elections, adding they would carry out self-criticism and address shortcomings.

"March 31 is not an end for us, but a turning point. The Turkish nation has conveyed its messages to politicians by using the ballot box in this March 31 municipal elections," he told his supporters after partial results indicated major gains by opposition parties in the nationwide polls.

"Nine months after our victory in the May 14-28 elections, unfortunately, we could not get the results we wanted and hoped for in the local vote. As the AK Party and the People's Alliance, we had intensively prepared for this election race just like the previous ones," he added.

The Turkish president stressed, "We will open-heartedly analyse the results of the March 31 elections within our party and make our self-criticism boldly."

"However, we will not disrespect our nation's decision in any way. We will avoid being stubborn, acting against the national will, and questioning the judgment of our nation, as we have done so far," he added.

The Sunday vote results dashed Erdogan's hopes of regaining the municipalities in Istanbul and Ankara that the opposition had won in 2019.

The opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) said it held on to Istanbul and Ankara in the elections while making gains in other traditionally AKP cities across the country. 

(Source: Reuters)

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