Imamoglu: I am willing to work in harmony with Erdogan
Turkey’s main opposition won a decisive victory in Istanbul’s re-run election on Sunday. With a lead of 806,581 votes, Ekrem İmamoğlu, the mayoral candidate of the secularist Republican People’s Party (CHP), won 54 percent of the vote with nearly all ballots counted, Turkish broadcasters said, while Erdogan’s AK Party (AKP) candidate won 45 percent.
Imamoglu called for reconciliation in his first message. “I especially want to address President Erdogan,” he said. “I am ready and willing to work in harmony with you in accordance with the road map I presented to citizens before the election. No political issue is more important than the happiness of citizens and prevention of unemployment.”
In his victory speech, Imamoglu thanked Istanbulites for “protecting Turkey’s century-old democratic tradition.” “You protected the dignity of Turkey’s democracy in front of the whole world,” the CHP candidate said, adding that the outcome of the election is not a “victory” but a “new beginning” for the city.
Earlier, Yildirim congratulated Imamoglu after preliminary results showed the latter leading the race. “We will try to support him in every work he will do, on behalf of Istanbulites,” he said.
Erdogan congratulates Imamoglu
Erdogan congratulated Imamoglu as unofficial results suggested a convincing win for the CHP candidate. “The national will has appeared once again today. I congratulate Ekrem Imamoglu, who has won the election, according to unofficial results,” Erdogan said in a Twitter post.
Meanwhile, Sadi Guven, head of the Supreme Election Council, said the official results of the election will be announced soon. He said the council will issue the certificate of election to the deserving candidate, following completion of the appeals process.
Imamoglu and Yildirim vied for the metropolitan municipality of Turkey’s most populous city after a previous vote on March 31 was annulled by the country’s top election council last month.
Embracing all people
Later in an address in Istanbul’s Beylikduzu district, where he had been mayor before he ran for Istanbul, Imamoglu said he would embrace people from all walks of life. “There will be no such concept like minority in this city. We will embrace Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians, Jews and everyone in this city,” said Imamoglu. “We will build democracy and justice in this city. I promise you we will build the future in this beautiful city.”
The mayor-elect also thanked ruling party’s candidate Yildirim and President Erdogan fore their congratulatory messages. Imamoglu vowed to end partisanship. “We will work a lot for Istanbul starting tomorrow,” he added.