Demonstrations are likely in Istanbul in the wake of the local elections held on Sunday, June 23. According to unofficial results as of Sunday evening (local time), opposition candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu - who secured victory on March 31 before it was annulled by election authorities - appeared to be leading ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) candidate Binali Yıldırım by a large margin.
A heightened security presence is to be expected at offices of the various political parties, public gathering places, and major transportation hubs in the wake of the election. Localized traffic disruptions are to be expected in the event of any political demonstrations or rallies in the coming weeks. Further violence between supporters of competing political parties cannot be ruled out, particularly as its leaders have raised allegations of voting irregularities.
Tensions between political parties in Turkey have risen since candidates from the opposition Nation's Alliance - led by the Republican People's Party (CHP) and Good Party (İyi Party) - initially won the cities of Ankara and Istanbul, defeating candidates from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) during local elections on March 31.
Turkey's Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) annulled the results of the March 31 Istanbul mayoral elections on May 6, citing election irregularities. The announcement led to demonstrations and localized clashes in Istanbul and other urban centers.
Individuals in Turkey are advised to monitor local developments, refrain from discussing domestic political affairs in public or on social media, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
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