AKP retains authority in heartland Anatolia
ISTANBULThe ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has comfortably retained strongholds in Central and East Anatolia where it holds a strong majority of conservative voters in the March 30 local elections.
In the central provinces of Konya, Kayseri, Sivas and Yozgat, the party collected over 50 percent of the votes, according to initial results.
In the eastern province of Erzurum, the hometown of Interior Minister Efkan Ala and Fethullah Gülen, the self-exiled Islamic scholar, the AKP garnered over 50 percent of the votes, while it also collected a majority of the votes in the neighboring province of Erzincan.
In other eastern provinces such as Malatya, Elazığ, Bingöl and Muş, voters also overwhelmingly voted for the ruling party.
The AKP was also dominant in the Black Sea region, winning in Rize, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s hometown, Trabzon, Samsun, Ordu, Kastamonu and Bartın.
As a whole, AKP raised its votes in 75 of Turkey’s 81 provinces, compared to the results of the 2009 local elections.