Voters went to the polls on Sunday to complete the picture of the March 30 local elections after the Supreme Election Board had annulled the results in the provinces of Yalova and Ağrı, as well as the elections in 11 other townships and settlements.
The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) candidate won the mayoral seat in the northwestern city of Yalova, while the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) candidate became mayor in the eastern border province of Ağrı. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) lost in both provinces despite an all-out effort to win them, causing embarrassment for the ruling party.
On the other hand, the AK Party won in five townships and settlements, and in the overall votes still won more than 45 percent of the votes. Thus, the AK Party's commanding popularity among voters was preserved.
So is the glass half empty? Yes it is. The CHP candidate edged the AK Party hopeful with only 228 votes in the city of Yalova, which means that despite everything the glass is half empty. In Ağrı, this time deputy Şemdin Sakık beat the AK Party by 6 percent and won a clear victory despite the fact that last week Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited the province and addressed an election campaign rally. All this happened despite the fact that the AK Party had all the resources to win the hearts of the voters in Ağrı and Yalova. So the glass remains half empty.
But when we consider that the AK Party won five mayoral seats in townships and settlements and other parties had to share the remaining six seats, the AK Party remains dominant. The AK Party has maintained and even increased its percentage compared to the March 30 elections. So the glass is half full in that regard.
But all these details are trivial. The bigger picture came out on March 30 and gave Erdoğan a clear mandate to run the country. What came out on June 1 was a minute part of the Picture. Neither the CHP should try to read too much into these results and draw conclusions regarding the presidential elections nor should the government disregard the Yalova and Ağrı results but rather draw lessons that they still have to do more to satisfy voters in these places and in similar ones.
On June 1, democracy functioned well and voters made their verdict known. This should be a slap in the face for those who question our democratic standards and try to preach to us.