U.S. State Dept. calls on Ankara accept election results

A spokesperson for the U.S. State Department has said the Turkish government should respect the legitimate results of the local elections last Sunday.

State Department spokesperson Robert Palladino was asked to comment on the controversial opposition victories in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, and Ankara, its capital. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has made moves to contest the result in both cities.

“Free and fair elections are essential for any democracy. That means acceptance of legitimate election results, which is essential,” Palladino said.

“We expect nothing less from Turkey, which has a long proud tradition in this respect,” he added.

While the ruling party suffered major losses in Turkey’s big cities, it performed well on a district level and retained a high percentage of the total tally of votes.