Turkish Press Review - Monday, March 31, 2014

Turkish dailies on Monday widely cover Sunday's local elections, ruling AK Party's lead in the polls

Turkish dailies on Monday widely cover Sunday's local elections, ruling AK Party's lead in the polls

ANKARA - Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

Turkish dailies widely cover Sunday's local elections. 

Turkey's ruling AK Party leads the polls in Sunday's local elections looking set to increase its votes in the first ballot since last year’s Gezi Park protests last summer and the anti-corruption probes in December.

"Neck and neck" says Daily Haberturk referring to Turkey's ruling AK Party  and the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP). 

AK Party's mayoral candidate Kadir Topbas beat main opposition candidate Mustafa Sarigul while Melih Gokcek, AK Party's candidate, and CHP's Mansur Yavas were neck and neck in the capital, the daily reported. 

Daily Hurriyet  quoted Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying "tape politics lost."  

"Tapes, montage, smear and slander politics have lost today," Erdogan said to a cheering crowd of his supporters at his AK Party's headquarters in Ankara. 

He also denounced attempts to "shape Turkey's politics through non-political means" -- an apparent reference to a 'parallel state' allegedly run by followers of a U.S.-based Turkish preacher, accused of being linked to unspecified foreign elements.

AK Party has taken the lead in 48 provinces including 17 metropolitan provinces out of 30, while the CHP led the votes in 15 provinces, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has won in 8 provinces and Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) led votes in 10 provinces. 

"Confidence vote" headlined Daily Vatan. 

AK Party has increased its votes by 7 percent up from 39 percent in the 2009 vote, the daily reported. 

The daily also reported that Turkey elected four female mayors. Three  women were elected to govern metropolitan cities. BDP's two female candidates in eastern Turkey claimed victory for the first time. 

Daily Radikal headlined "Erdogan's 7th time victory". Erdogan has received about 45 percent of the national vote in the elections. He has run in 7 elections. 

Daily Yeni Safak said "Buried in ballot boxes" referring to the opposition parties and the U.S.-based Turkish preacher, Fethullah Gulen.

Prime Minister Erdogan accuses Gulen of orchestrating the December 17 anti-graft operation calling it a "dirty plot" against his government. 

Turkey went to polls to defend "national will" after the December 17 anti-graft operation and the voter turnout was almost 90 percent, the daily said. 

Opposition parties, the CHP and the MHP which Erdogan says cooperate with 'the parallel state,'  were completely defeated, the daily reported. 

"Tension wins" daily Cumhuriyet headlined. The daily reported fraud attempts and there was power cuts in about 40 provinces after the countdown began.

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