Ordu’s election 2014

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ordu-map
Ordu
Marginal CHP mayoralty
AK Party target
stone-olddis Old districts (pre-2014) 135,695 voters

Ordu voters: old district

stone-olddis New districts in 2014 399,932 voters

ordu-votersnew

All districts in 2014 535,625 voters
1 figure = 10,000 voters. All numbers correct on 1 March.

2009 results by district type
ordu-pies
ordu-key

Current mayor
Seyit Torun (CHP, elected as DSP)
Province assembly, 2009

AK Party
46/59
CHP
4/59
MHP
7/59
DSP
2/59
Predicted 2014 result

Too close to call

2014 mayoral candidates
 PartyCandidateVotes%
AK PartyEnver Yılmaz [ELECTED]239,71754.4
CHPSeyit Torun (defeated incumbent)150,42934.14
MHPCemal Enginyurt35,8798.14
SPVeysel İlhan4,5291.03
DPBerkay Torunoğlu1,5100.34
HDPTahsin Vedat Şensoy1,0830.25

Other parties

8,5921.95

Invalid votes

24,977

Turnout

465,63386.9

Registered voters

535,833
One of the closest AKP-CHP battles seems to be set for the sleepy eastern Black Sea town of Ordu, currently held by the CHP even though they have never won it.

The mayor is Seyit Torun, twice elected on the ticket of the Democratic Left Party (DSP) before switching allegiances to the CHP in 2011. He’s certainly popular – he’s been credited with installing a flashy cable car that takes passengers up the nearby mountain – and, at 45, he’s remarkably youthful for a two-term mayor.

But Ordu’s plucky town life contrasts with its agrarian countryside. This is firm hazelnut territory: Turkey is the world’s largest producer, the Black Sea accounts for 80% of what Turkey grows and Ordu churns out more than any of its neighbours. More than half of the province’s people work in some way in the hazelnut industry. They are overwhelmingly, and unsurprisingly, AK Party voters.

In 2004 and 2009, the centre-left DSP took the town mayoralty fairly comfortably while centre-right parties swept the provincial assembly. Ordu has six seats in parliament; the AK Party took five of them against the CHP’s single one at the last election, although it was a close fight for the last of those AK seats.

This makes for a knife-edge marginal province in 2014 and an exciting fight for the new Büyükşehir mayoralty. An ORC poll in the region published at the beginning of October found the CHP ahead of the AK Party, but only just: 33.1% against 31.9%.

Having been overlooked for a parliamentary seat in 2011, Mr Torun is set to be the CHP mayoral candidate in Ordu next year. But the AK Party looks set to roll out a heavyweight of its own against him: Enver Yılmaz, an MP from Ordu who is falls foul of his party’s ban on more than three consecutive terms.

Implications

Failing to keep a progressive town like Ordu in centre-left hands would be a disaster for the CHP, particularly when Büyükşehir powers await. The AK Party did poorly in coastal towns across Turkey at the last local election and Mr Yılmaz’s potential candidacy is a sign of efforts to reverse that trend.

At this stage, and with polling so tight, Ordu is too close to call.