Turkey’s Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed victory for his Islamic-rooted party in Sunday’s key local elections.
“Those who attacked Turkey got disappointed,” Erdogan told a jubilant crowd of thousands, speaking from the balcony of his party’s Ankara headquarters.
“You have supported your prime minister. I thank you infinitely,” Erdogan told the crowd. The municipal polls were seen as a referendum on his 11-year rule.
With 95 percent of all ballots counted, Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) emerged well ahead of its rivals on 45 percent of the vote, with the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on 28.5 percent.
The AKP looked headed for strong victories nationwide, including in the biggest city Istanbul and the capital Ankara, over the secular opposition.