Inside Story

Who will rule Istanbul?

The dominance of Turkey’s AK Party is put to the test in Istanbul’s re-run of its mayoral election.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has always been very aware that what happens politically to Turkey‘s biggest city could have a major and lasting impact on his own political future.

Istanbul is crucially important as the nation’s business hub. But it dealt a blow to the president’s ruling Justice and Development AK Party, during mayoral elections in March.

The ruling AK Party contested that result over counting irregularities, and Turkey’s electoral board upheld that complaint.

So Turkish voters have gone back to the polls. Many say they’re concerned about unemployment and the rising cost of living.

Erdogan’s critics blame him for the economic recession, and the vote is seen as a referendum on his policies.

So what does this mean for the country’s democracy?

And for President Erdogan himself?

Presenter: Peter Dobbie


Mehmet Celik – Managing editor of the Daily Sabah newspaper

Fadi Hakura – Manager of the Turkey project at the Chatham House think-tank

Yusuf Kanli – Former editor of the Hurriyet newspaper