Istanbul Mayoral Election: Ekrem Imamoğlu Won Again

Opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoğlu won the mayoral election in Istanbul after scoring almost all votes. Imamoğlu received on Sunday 74.03 percent of the vote, his opponent, former Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, came to 45.09 percent. Yıldırım admitted his defeat already. In a speech almost simultaneously with the first results he said: “I congratulate him and wish him success.” A statement by the High Electoral Commission (YSK) was pending.

The Istanbul Mayor post is the most important in the country. In Istanbul, with around 16 million people, almost 20 percent of all Turks live. But the importance of choice goes far beyond the local. Imamoğlu had surprisingly and narrowly won the first mayoral election on March 31st. He beat former Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, candidate of the ruling AKP party led by President Erdoğan.

The winner of the election, Imamoğlu told journalists in the Istanbul headquarters of his party CHP: “This is not a victory, but a fresh start.” He thanked all the supporters, but urged them not to leave the polls. The gap between the two candidates was more than 740,000 votes. The 49-year-old also said that the Istanbulers had “defended the reputation of democracy”. All of Turkey won. He has taken on a “holy task” and will carry out his ministry “with body and soul”. Imamoglu announced to visit President Erdoğan soon. He wanted to work in harmony with him.