Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has secured the most number of seats in Sunday's nationwide municipal elections, but saw its overall popularity declining in the process, indicated initial poll results on Monday.

Although the unofficial initial results, with nearly 99.6 percent of the votes counted, suggested that ruling party won about 39% of the votes polled in Sunday's elections, it clearly showed a decline from the landslide 47% of the votes it had secured in the 2007 parliamentary elections.

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) came in second with 22.3 percent of the votes, while the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) managed to secure 16.2% of the votes polled, indicated the report.

This is a message from the people and we will take the necessary lessons, said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who belongs to the AKP party, said afterwards.

The AKP has consolidated its position at the center of politics and shown once again that it is a party that embraces all sections of society, he said, adding that his party will study the results closely to find out why it lost some of its previous support.

The ruling AKP had won over 41% in last municipal elections 2004, followed by a landslide 46.6% in the country's general elections in 2007.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com