Turkish political parties sway voters with infrastructure pledges in local elections

Turkish political parties sway voters with infrastructure pledges in local elections

Local elections across 30 metropolitan municipalities will be held in Turkey today. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development

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Photo: Reuters

Local elections across 30 metropolitan municipalities will be held in Turkey today.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party is tipped to dominate Istanbul, which as the main economic and cultural hub stands as a forecast for the presidential elections. With the Turkish lira reducing by 40% and GDP falling from $10,957 to $9,632 in 2018, public support may waver from Erdogan. As Turkey’s largest city with 10 million voters, Istanbul, as it was for Erdogan when he became mayor in 1994, is often a launching pad for greater ambition at a presidential level.

The parties are promising better roads and a new underground metro—the Justice and Development Party signed off on two more metro lines in January. With 100,000 vehicles being added to the 4.1 million vehicles in Istanbul annually, the capital is the second-most congested city in Turkey.

In 2014, a study concluded that the added petrol consumption and delay in transporting goods caused by the congestion costs Turkey some $2.8 billion annually.

If the Justice and Development Party wins, as is probable, expect Erdogan’s popularity to increase.

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