Turkey’s ruling party to challenge Istanbul and Ankara voting results

Supporters of the Republican People’s Party CHP wave Turkish flags as they celebrate after preliminary results of the local elections were announced in Ankara

"Intervention to support the lira is contrary to the central bank's longstanding policy to allow the exchange rate to float freely and poses renewed questions about the transparency and independence", Moody's said in a note.

"The (lira) market is focusing on the positive that it could have been a worse result for AKP and Erdogan has also said he will respect free markets, which would be positive if it happens", said UniCredit EM FX strategist Kiran Kowshik.

The lira tumbled nearly 30 percent against the dollar past year and Turkey's economy has tipped into recession.

Yıldırım, who played an important role in the foundation of the AK Party, first won a seat in Parliament as a deputy for Istanbul in the fall 2002 elections and served the country as the transport, maritime affairs and communications minister in the 58th, 59th, 60th, 61st and 64th governments.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling party on Tuesday appealed the results of local elections in Istanbul where preliminary results give the opposition a razor-thin victory, sounding confident that a recount will alter the outcome of the vote.

Sunday's election in Turkey led to controversial results in some cities that were contested by political parties, and specifically the two major cities of the country, Ankara and Istanbul, where the ruling party was ousted after 25 years.

Yet the AKP also claimed victory, saying it had "plenty of" evidence of voting irregularities. Turnout was high at about 85%.

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Erdogan pledged late on Sunday he would now focus on Turkey's troubled economy ahead of national elections in 2023.

The country's unemployment is on the rise and the cost of living has soared as inflation hit 20 percent, fuelling the discontent of Turkish people already anxious about the increased power over the country Mr Erdogan gained in 2018.

Others were more sceptical about the AKP allegations.

"Today's elections are as historic as that of 1994", prominent journalist Rusen Cakir tweeted, referring to the year Erdogan was elected mayor of Istanbul. In an echo of the 2018 crisis, the currency has swung wildly tmsnrt.rs/2CEaO11 in the last six trading days as the government and central bank unleashed a series of stop-gap support measures. The opposition won Ankara, a ruling party stronghold for decades, and was leading a tight race for mayor in Istanbul, according to unofficial figures Monday.

However Wolfango Piccoli, co-president of Teneo political risk advisers, said the AKP had lost seven of the country's 12 main cities, even without taking Istanbul into account.

Official vote tallies and Turkish broadcasters, including state-run Anadolu news agency, are already crowning the candidates of the main opposition and secular Republican People's Party (CHP) in both cities. The HDP denies links to the outlawed militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

The head of Turkey's election board, Sadi Güven, said on Tuesday that appeals in elections for mayors and municipal leaders in 30 cities, 51 provincial capitals and 922 districts would be evaluated this week and parties may file objections to board decisions on Friday, meaning final results were not expected until 11 April at the earliest.

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