AKIPRESS.COM - The ruling Justice and Development (AK Party) has lost mayoral elections in the country's three largest cities - Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir - in a stunning election setback for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan according to unofficial results published by state-run Anadolu Agency.
The official results will be released after the country's election board looks into objections by political parties, who have three days to file their complaints, AL Jazeera reported.
Anadolu's unofficial data shows Republican People's Party's (CHP) candidate Ekrem Imamoglu won the heated mayoral race in Istanbul, the country's largest city and economic centre, with 48.8 percent of the vote, while the AK Party candidate Binali Yildirim got 48.5 percent.
In the capital, Ankara, unofficial results showed that CHP candidate Mansur Yavas had garnered 50.9 percent, with the AK Party nominee Mehmet Ozhaseki trailing on 47.2 percent.
In the third-largest city, Izmir, the CHP candidate, Mustafa Tunc Soyer, was leading with 58 percent votes while AK Party's Nihat Zeybekci stood at 38.5 percent.
All of the votes have been counted in the three largest cities.
The ruling AK Party, which ran as part of the People's Alliance, suffered setback in Sunday's local elections, which were held against the backdrop of Turkey's first recession in a decade while its lira currency lost as much as 40 percent of its value against the US dollar last year.
The race in Istanbul was particularly tight, with both AK Party and the CHP claiming victory in Istanbul's mayoral election.
Yildirim claimed early on Monday that he had won the race by around 4,000 votes, but later admitted he was 25,000 votes behind Imamoglu from CHP, which is part of the Nation Alliance.