Istanbul police open probes over vote ‘irregularities’

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Istanbul police have opened 32 investigations following allegations of voting “irregularities” made by the ruling party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after its shock loss in local elections, Turkish media reported Thursday.

More than 100 election officials have been summoned as part of the inquiries across three districts in Turkey’s biggest city, according to state news agency Anadolu.


Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) saw losses in Ankara and Istanbul - which the party or its predecessors had held since 1994 - in the elections of March 31, despite remaining the most popular party nationwide.

It has accused election officials of suppressing votes for their candidates and discounting valid ballots.

The AKP has made an “extraordinary appeal” for a re-run of the election in Istanbul, which was won by a coalition of opposition parties headed by Ekrem Imamoglu. He has accused Erdogan’s party of being “bad losers.”

The country’s electoral council is due to convene on Monday to discuss the appeal.

Several partial recounts in Ankara and Istanbul have so far supported the initial results, which saw Imamoglu win the Istanbul mayorship by less than 15,000 in a city of more than 15 million.

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