Turkish opposition candidates and voters on Monday celebrated inflicting a stinging defeat on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's party in municipal elections.

"You know how it feels when the sun rises? Now it's like a second sun has risen. We are so happy," said Murat Akgun, 46, a small business owner in Istanbul where Erdogan had hoped to reestablish his Justice and Development Party (AKP).

With almost all ballots counted but no official results announced, the Republican People's Party (CHP) claimed all major cities and expanded into some Anatolian provinces that were considered Erdogan territory.