0534 GMT June 24, 2019
Initial results from the March 31 mayoral elections gave a narrow victory to the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate in Istanbul. The AKP had already appealed the results and partial recounts in some districts, and full recounts in other districts have already been taking place.
Ali Ihsan Yavuz, the deputy chairman of the ruling AKP party, spoke Sunday as a recount of votes that were previously deemed invalid was continuing in several Istanbul districts.
In a major upset to President Erdogan, the opposition took control of Ankara, the capital, and won a tight race for Istanbul in the country’s local elections. Erdogan’s party is contesting some results, claiming that the elections were “tainted.”
Yavuz said the party is seeking a total recount of votes in 38 districts in Istanbul, not just of ballot papers that were canceled. He said the opposition party candidate’s lead has narrowed to 16,442 votes as a result of the partial recount.
"We chose the path to eliminate numerical mistakes. But it's not over," Yavuz told reporters in televised comments.
The party has appealed for a full recount in the Istanbul district of Beyoglu, one of 39 voting districts across Turkey's largest city, he said, and will ask the High Electoral Board (YSK) to do the same in the others.
The AKP has been in power nationally since 2002, but it and its Islamic predecessors have dominated Turkey's two biggest cities for a quarter of a century.
AP and Reuters contributed to this story.