The party of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has lost control of the country’s two biggest cities, Istanbul and Ankara, ending 25 years of dominance.

Commenting on the result, the European Green Party co-chair Monica Frassoni and committee member Evelyne Huytebroeck said:

“These results will come as a major boon for pro-democracy parties, who have been repressed for over a decade under Erdoğan’s iron rule.

“Countless opposition politicians, human rights defenders, intellectuals and journalists have been thrown in jail or hounded out of the country simply for uttering opinions that diverge from those of the ruling AKP party.  A claustrophobic political landscape dominated by fear has reigned for too long.  This will now offer a glimmer of hope that rival parties can begin to get their voices heard.  We praise the courageous opposition leaders who have remained uncowed in their fight to restore democratic values.

“As Greens, we want to see Turkey return to democracy and take steps towards a shared future with the EU.  But it is only by opening up the political and cultural sphere to greater freedom of expression and association that this can begin to become a reality.”

“This is a major breakthrough for opposition parties who have been campaigning for democratic values.  We believe that all of Turkey is better served in a more plural political landscape where cultural diversity is seen as an asset,” said Eylem Tuncaelli, the co-chair of the Turkish Greens Yeşil Sol Parti (Green Left Party Turkey).

“The Turkish Green Left Party will continue to work with local communities to foster greater tolerance and the peaceful coexistence of diverse political thought.  We thank all those that supported us in our shared aims of building a more sustainable and cohesive society based on trust,” she added.