The mood among opposition supporters in Turkey’s biggest city is one of jubilation but also worry — fear that their win in Istanbul’s mayoral race could be overturned in a recount taking place after the ruling party challenged the election results.

In an unexpected setback to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the opposition snatched away his ruling party’s quarter-century-old stronghold of Ankara, the capital, in Turkey’s local election last Sunday. The opposition also won a tight race in Istanbul, the country’s financial and cultural capital, where Erdogan himself rose to power as mayor in 1994.

The opposition made these gains despite an election that international observers say was not fair. Turkish media covered Erdogan’s constant campaign appearances on behalf of his party but did not give remotely similar coverage to opposition candidates.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, in a first public appearance after Sunday elections in Istanbul, Thursday, April 4, 2019, listens as he visits an uncompleted museum dedicated to the July 15, 2015 coup attempt. (Presidential Press Service via AP, Pool)
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, in a first public appearance after Sunday elections in Istanbul, Thursday, April 4, 2019, listens as he visits an uncompleted museum dedicated to the July 15, 2015 coup attempt. (Presidential Press Service via AP, Pool)
Backdropped by a poster of modern Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, right, Ekrem Imamoglu, the opposition, Republican People's Party's (CHP) mayoral candidate in Istanbul, poses for The Associated Press following an interview in Istanbul, Thursday, April 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Backdropped by a poster of modern Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, right, Ekrem Imamoglu, the opposition, Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) mayoral candidate in Istanbul, poses for The Associated Press following an interview in Istanbul, Thursday, April 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Ekrem Imamoglu, the opposition, Republican People's Party's (CHP) mayoral candidate in Istanbul, smiles during an interview with The Associated Press in Istanbul, Thursday, April 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Ekrem Imamoglu, the opposition, Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) mayoral candidate in Istanbul, smiles during an interview with The Associated Press in Istanbul, Thursday, April 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a first public appearance after Sunday elections in Istanbul, Thursday, April 4, 2019, during a visit to an uncompleted museum dedicated to the July 15, 2015 coup attempt. (Presidential Press Service via AP, Pool)
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a first public appearance after Sunday elections in Istanbul, Thursday, April 4, 2019, during a visit to an uncompleted museum dedicated to the July 15, 2015 coup attempt. (Presidential Press Service via AP, Pool)
Ekrem Imamoglu, the opposition, Republican People's Party's (CHP) mayoral candidate in Istanbul, talks to The Associated Press in Istanbul, Thursday, April 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Ekrem Imamoglu, the opposition, Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) mayoral candidate in Istanbul, talks to The Associated Press in Istanbul, Thursday, April 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Ekrem Imamoglu, the opposition, Republican People's Party's (CHP) mayoral candidate in Istanbul, poses for The Associated Press prior to an interview in Istanbul, Thursday, April 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Ekrem Imamoglu, the opposition, Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) mayoral candidate in Istanbul, poses for The Associated Press prior to an interview in Istanbul, Thursday, April 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Ekrem Imamoglu, the opposition, Republican People's Party's (CHP) mayoral candidate in Istanbul, talks to The Associated Press in Istanbul, Thursday, April 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Ekrem Imamoglu, the opposition, Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) mayoral candidate in Istanbul, talks to The Associated Press in Istanbul, Thursday, April 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Ekrem Imamoglu, the opposition, Republican People's Party's (CHP) mayoral candidate in Istanbul, shakes hands with staff of his campaign in Istanbul, Thursday, April 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Ekrem Imamoglu, the opposition, Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) mayoral candidate in Istanbul, shakes hands with staff of his campaign in Istanbul, Thursday, April 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Backdropped by a poster of modern Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, right, Ekrem Imamoglu, the opposition, Republican People's Party's (CHP) mayoral candidate in Istanbul, poses for The Associated Press following an interview in Istanbul, Thursday, April 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Backdropped by a poster of modern Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, right, Ekrem Imamoglu, the opposition, Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) mayoral candidate in Istanbul, poses for The Associated Press following an interview in Istanbul, Thursday, April 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

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