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After loss, Erdogan vows to listen to people's 'messages'

In his first public appearance since a crushing defeat in a rerun election for mayor of Istanbul, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to draw lessons from "the messages given by the people."

Addressing legislators from his ruling party on Tuesday, Erdogan again congratulated opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu who garnered 54.21% of the vote in Istanbul on Sunday.

It was Erdogan's first electoral defeat and broke his ruling party's decades-old grip on Turkey's most important city.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his ruling party MPs, in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, June 25, 2019, two days after Ekrem Imamoglu, the candidate of the secular opposition Republican People's Party won the election for mayor of Istanbul. Erdogan addressed his AK Party's weekly meeting, the first time he speaks since the Istanbul mayoral election Sunday, which was a big setback for him and his party.(AP PhotoBurhan Ozbilici)

Erdogan said: "We don't have the luxury of turning a deaf ear and ignoring the messages given by the people."

He said his ruling party — which is scheduled to meet later Tuesday — would determine "failings, disunity and errors" and look for ways to fix them.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his ruling party MPs, in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, June 25, 2019, two days after Ekrem Imamoglu, the candidate of the secular opposition Republican People's Party, won the election for mayor of Istanbul. Erdogan addressed his AK Party's weekly meeting, the first time he speaks since the Istanbul mayoral election Sunday, which was a big setback for him and his party. (AP PhotoBurhan Ozbilici)

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his ruling party MPs, in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, June 25, 2019, two days after Ekrem Imamoglu, the candidate of the secular opposition Republican People's Party, won the election for mayor of Istanbul. Erdogan addressed his AK Party's weekly meeting, the first time he speaks since the Istanbul mayoral election Sunday, which was a big setback for him and his party.(AP PhotoBurhan Ozbilici)