Erdogan's ruling AKP loses Istanbul mayoral re-run

BULENT KILIC / AFP

Turkey's opposition has dealt President Tayyip Erdogan a stinging blow by winning the rerun of the Istanbul mayoral election.

Ekrem Imamoglu secured a stunning victory for the opposition, which had initially won the mayoral election in March before the vote was challenged by Erdogan's ruling AK party over election irregularities.

In a televised speech, Imamoglu, a former businessman and district mayor, thanked his supporters. 

"You have protected the reputation of democracy in Turkey with the whole world watching."

His opponent, ex-PM Binali Yildirim, has conceded.

On Twitter, Erdogan wrote: "I congratulate Ekrem Imamoglu who has won the election based on preliminary results."

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