Pro-AK Party columnists react to the humiliating loss in the Istanbul municipal election
1 The AK Party is at the last crossroad Abdurrahman Dilipak (Yeni Akit): What do these results mean? It’s clear that people want a change. There’s a big loss of confidence. This should not have been extended to this point. This process was mismanaged. Those who resisted change, who harmed the AK Party’s image, should be brought to book. I told you from day one: The AK Party will go as they have come. The AK Party became stronger through municipalities; their loss will be through municipalities. The AK Party is at the last crossroad. We’ll discuss this more in the future. The AK Party should listen to these warnings and those who ignored them should be removed from the party.
2 Another defeat with a very bad campaign Aydin Unal (former AK Party MP – former Yeni Akit columnist): No, no, no! It’s not too early to speak; it’s not time to stay quiet. The March 31 elections were a fiasco. [The AKP] suffered a defeat and unnecessarily repeated the election. They once again led to a defeat with a very bad campaign. The ‘Pelikan’ barons must have been toasting in their mansions facing the Bosphorus!
3 We took record of all CHP supporters Ali Karahasanoglu (Yeni Akit) : What is to be will be...The Republican People’s Party (CHP) won... We are upset. But we say: “Every cloud has a silver lining.” We have this belief: “Fair is foul, foul is fair.” Let us make an entry into history...We entered the names of the people from “our neighborhood,” who wrote articles for the good of Ekrem Imamoglu. We took record of all of the supporters of the CHP candidate. With every negative act we will remind them that ‘their blood is on their own hands.’
4 Turks once again took sides with the victim Abdulkadir Selvi (Hurriyet): The cancellation of the March 31 elections made Ekrem Imamoglu a victim. Our people once again took sides with the victim. The Turkish people, who could not accept Erdogan’s imprisonment when he was the Istanbul Mayor because he had read a poem, made Erdogan the president, the same man who was told he cannot even become a neighborhood representative. The wind of victimization has blown this time on Ekrem Imamoglu. If the elections were repeated for the district mayorships on June 23, the AK Party would have lost 12 district municipalities as well.
5 They gave him the “victim” title Ahmet Hakan (Hurriyet): They failed to convince people on the reasons for the renewal of the elections. They contributed to Ekrem Imamoglu, who had won with a small margin, by giving him a “victim” title. They thought that the voters who did not go to the polls on March 31 would vote for them with the idea that Istanbul cannot be lost. They made an unnecessary “mosque polemic’ with the Saadet Party and steal away the Saadet voters. By playing the Abdullah Ocalan card at the very last moment, they contradicted their attitude toward the HDP and Qandil. They kept on saying: “Imamoglu would be dismissed even if he wins” for no reason. They made the biggest mistake.
6 A society committed to maintaining democracy Mehmet Barlas (Sabah): Isn’t the common expectation of all of us the end of polarization and the differences that come to the point of hate with this last election? As a society committed to maintaining democracy with determination, we must sort ourselves with respect after the local elections.
7 Those who declared half of society as unbelievers, lost Yildiray Ogur (Karar): It was not Mecca which lost with this election result, nor Jerusalem or Gaza, or Morsi, who’s death became grist for the campaing mill, nor was it the July 15 martyrs who lost. And no, Telaviv, Athens, Brussels, Washington, Pennsylvania, Qandil or Sisi did not win. But those who used this heroism politically without thinking that we will come face to face with their rivals on June 24, lost badly. Those who put forward all the values of religion for the election of a mayor, those who declared almost half of the society as unbelievers, who concocted fatwas from Islamic jurisprudence for elections, and those who said: “voting for them is unlawful” lost in this election.
8 We will see how the AK Party will perform as Istanbul’s opposition party Hilal Kaplan (Sabah): We remember that the AK Party, together with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), received between 52 and 54 percent of the vote in recent general and municipal elections. Moving forward, we will watch the CHP leadership trying to overcome the challenges of being in charge and governing with a multitude of partners. We will also see how the AK Party will perform as Istanbul’s opposition party.
9 Victory of Turkish democracy Hakki Ocal (Sabah): At this point, Imamoglu’s win or his opponent’s loss is not what makes everything beautiful. It is the victory of Turkish democracy that, despite three major, two virtual one attempted coup, is still healthy, well and kicking.
10 The result is a defeat for the AK Party. Cem Küçük (Turkiye): Let’s face it. This result is a defeat for the AK Party. Nihal Bengisu Karaca (Haberturk): Wasn’t it an assault to identify Imamoglu with Sisi?