Ankara’s incumbent mayor Melih Gökçek declares his own victory
AA PhotoIncumbent Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek has declared victory in his bid to win the capital's mayoral seat for a fifth consecutive time, dismissing suggestions from his main rival, Mansur Yavaş of the Republican People's Party (CHP), that the main opposition had won the city.
“It is an exact manipulation. Nobody should believe in the Cihan news agency,” Gökçek said, in an apparent reference to the discrepancies in reported counted votes by the state-run Anadolu Agency and the private Cihan news agency.
The mayor, who is running for his fifth term, hinted at collaboration between the Cihan news agency and the CHP. The Cihan news agency is owned by a media group that is known to be close to the movement backed by U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, which is currently in a severe rift with the government.
Gökçek argued that Yavaş’s logic in his victory claim was not based on solid ground as he was mainly focused on Çankaya, which is only one of the central districts, while the ruling party already took the rest of the almost 20 central districts.
“How could they be winning the center, as they have suggested, when this is the situation?” Gökçek asked.
“Nobody should give credit to such a manipulation,” he added, while predicting that eventually the ruling AKP would get 50 percent of the total votes in the capital city and the CHP would get 39 percent.