Erdogan’s Party Plans to Challenge Election Losses in Istanbul and Ankara

ISTANBUL — President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party has lost control of Turkey’s two largest cities, Istanbul and Ankara, a complete tally of local election ballots showed on Tuesday, but the governing party said it would challenge the outcomes.

The loss of Istanbul, the country’s business capital and Mr. Erdogan’s political base, is a particularly sharp setback for a president who has tightened his control of the government and news media, stifled dissent, and, critics contend, manipulated election results.

Results reported on Tuesday by the semiofficial Anadolu news agency showed the opposition candidate for mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu, at 48.79 percent, against 48.51 percent for Binali Yildrim, the candidate of Mr. Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, or AKP, with 100 percent of ballots counted.

The results also confirmed the victory of the opposition Republican People’s Party, or C.H.P., in Ankara, the capital. The opposition candidate Mansur Yavas won 50.91 percent of the vote, over the AKP candidate Mehmet Ozhaseki’s 47.1 percent, with 100 percent of ballots counted.

Anadolu cautioned that counts were unofficial, and that official results would be released by the High Election Council.

The head of that council, Sadi Guven, said in Ankara on Tuesday that it had shared preliminary results with political parties. For now, he said, the council will give certificates of election to candidates whose victories are not subject to appeals, which can be submitted until 3 p.m. Tuesday.

The council will rule on those challenges within eight days, he added.

Mr. Erdogan, who was re-elected last year, and his party have seen their popularity eroded by Turkey’s deep economic troubles. But a spokesman for the president, Ibrahim Kalin, refuted claims that Mr. Erdogan’s hold on power is waning, noting that the governing party had drawn the most votes in local elections nationwide.

“They will never learn. AK Party won 44.3 % and the coalition won 51.6 % of the votes,” Mr. Kalin posted on Twitter. “Erdogan has his mandate until 2023. Stop presenting your wishful thinking as fact and analysis.”

The AKP spokesman, Omer Celik, said early Tuesday that the party was lodging objections based on discrepancies between voting tallies at polling stations and the counting centers in both Ankara and Istanbul.

“The process is legitimate. Everyone should respect it,” Mr. Celik said at the party’s headquarters in Ankara. “We will respect the results regardless of the outcome, as it is our people’s choice.”