Turkey's Opposition Candidate Wins Istanbul Mayoral Elections

Turkey's opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) candidate Ekrem Imamoglu has declared victory in the rerun of Istanbul's mayoral election.

Imamoglu won 54% of votes, with the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) candidate trailing on 45% and conceding defeat.

Imamoglu addressed his supporters and thanked them for their solidarity. "You have protected the reputation of democracy in Turkey," he said.

Additionally, he promised a "new beginning" for Turkey's largest city and commercial hub and expressed readiness to cooperate with Erdogan.

His opponent, former Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, conceded defeat and congratulated Imamoglu on his success.

"According to the results, my competitor Ekrem Imamoglu is a winner. I congratulate him and wish him good luck," Yildirim said. 

The Istanbul Mayoral election has a far bigger meaning and importance than just a local voting process. Imagoglu's success means that for the first time in 25 years, the governance of Turkey's largest city will no longer be in the hands of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan - who served as Istanbul's mayor in the 1990s and leads the AK Party.

By Ana Dumbadze 

24 June 2019 13:13