A man waves a Turkish flag with a portrait of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk outside the mausoleum of modern Turkey’s founder. AFP / Adem ALTAN
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It was midnight on election night when Turkey's main opposition party finally believed it had overturned a decade and a half of failure at the polls and delivered a stinging defeat to the country's master campaigner, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.Confirmation of defeat in Istanbul -- a city of 15 million people -- and Ankara would not reduce Erdogan's sweeping presidential powers, but would seriously dent the aura of invincibility he has built up during 16 years of ever-tighter control over the country.His AK Party, which has challenged results in both Ankara and Istanbul, still won 51.6 percent of the national vote together with its nationalist MHP alliance partner, down from 53.7 percent in parliamentary elections last year.Another party source said the AK Party was still missing former campaign manager Erol Olcok, a close friend of Erdogan who masterminded AK Party election victories before he was killed on an Istanbul bridge during a failed military coup in 2016 .The AK Party has appealed results of all 39 districts in Istanbul.
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