Istanbul’s unique significance in the upcoming local elections
Istanbul is a sui generis city whose historical structure is constituted by cultural layers. From the Romans and Byzantines to the Ottomans and the republic, these cultural layers continue to coexist in the cosmopolitan spirit of the city. In addition to its historical and cultural heritage, Istanbul’s cultural prosperity derives from the Istanbulite identity. The former president of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), Ahmet Yuksel Ozemre, once remarked on his astonishment regarding the inclusive cosmopolitan structure of Istanbul where Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities coexist peacefully. As a cultural capital of all the nations in the region, Istanbul is invaluable for the whole world. It has been the most ambitious cosmopolitan and global city in the last quarter century. Aware of Istanbul’s global significance, all political parties are preparing themselves for the local elections in Istanbul with subtle strategies. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) nominated former Prime Minister Binali Yildirim as its candidate, while the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) nominated Ekrem Imamoglu, the mayor of a district in Istanbul. In the next column, we will discuss the prospective results of such a crucial election for the governance of Istanbul, a city with such global significance.