Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday congratulated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over “another important victory” in Turkish local elections.

“I am delighted to congratulate friend of Pakistan Recep Tayyip Erdogan on another important victory in the Turkish local elections,” the premier tweeted.

“The people of Pakistan wish him many more successes,” PM Imran added.

Erdogan’s party lost control of the capital, Ankara, in local elections in what is being seen as a setback to his 16 years in power.

But both his AKP and the opposition claimed to have won the mayoralty of the largest city, Istanbul.
Speaking to thousands of supporters in Ankara, Erdogan portrayed the election as a victory for AKP, which along with coalition partner, the rightwing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), won more than 50 percent of the votes nationwide. But he did not refer directly to the loss of Ankara.

“If there are any shortcomings, it is our duty to correct them,” Erdogan told supporters.

“Starting tomorrow morning, we will begin our work to identify our shortcomings and make up for them.”

He suggested if his party lost in Istanbul, they would still control district councils even if the opposition held the mayor´s office.

Sunday´s poll was the first municipal ballot since Turks approved constitutional reforms in 2017 to create an executive presidency that gave Erdogan wider powers after 16 years in office.