Supporters of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party candidate Ekrem Imamoglu cheer after Turkish election officials officially confirmed his win as Istanbul mayor on Wednesday. Photo: Erhan Demirtas/NurPhoto

Opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu defeated President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AKP candidate, a recount of last month’s disputed Istanbul election confirmed on Wednesday, according to Turkish election authorities.

Thousands of cheering supporters greeted Imamoglu outside Istanbul city hall after he received his mandate certificate, though electoral authorities must still rule on an AKP appeal for a rerun over alleged irregularities in its narrow Istanbul defeat.

“This is a new dawn for Istanbul,” Imamoglu told the chanting crowds from the roof of a campaign bus. “Istanbul is proud of you.”

He urged Istanbul residents to set grudges aside, promising to be “everybody’s mayor.”

He said, “The people granted me the honor of leading the most beautiful city in the world… I pledge that I will repay my debt.”

Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) won the most votes nationwide in the March 31 election, but the loss of Ankara and Istanbul to the Republican People’s Party (CHP) was a stinging setback after a decade and a half in control.

The AKP has won every election since it came to power 17 years ago, in part by tying its success to strong economic growth and improvements in living standards during Erdogan’s years in power, first as premier then as president.

But voters punished the party this time after a currency crisis last year hurt Turkish households, sent inflation soaring and tipped the economy into recession for the first time in a decade.

Defeat in Istanbul would be especially sensitive for Erdogan, who grew up in one of its poorer neighborhoods and whose climb up the political career included being mayor himself in the 1990s.

The AKP had sought several recounts of the Istanbul vote, and the Supreme Electoral Council, known by its Turkish initials YSK, has yet to rule on the party’s formal demand for a full rerun of the Istanbul election. It was not clear how long that decision would take.

Electoral authorities finished a recount of some Istanbul ballots late on Tuesday, but the CHP had already dismissed any challenges as without merit and urged the AKP to concede.

“I am so happy”, said architecture student and CHP supporter Ilayda Pembe, 25. “I was beginning to think he would never get the mandate. A new day for Istanbul is starting.”

– with reporting by AFP

Join the Conversation


  1. Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s truly
    informative. I’m gonna watch out for brussels. I’ll appreciate if
    you continue this in future. Many people will be benefited from your writing.

  2. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your blog.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me
    to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your
    theme? Excellent work!

  3. “Excellent weblog right here! Also your web site so much up very fast! What host are you the usage of? Can I get your associate hyperlink to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol”

  4. Hello there! I know this is kinda off topic however I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest authoring a blog article or vice-versa?

    My blog goes over a lot of the same topics as yours and I believe we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you are interested feel free to send
    me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! Wonderful blog by the way!

  5. Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before
    but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Nonetheless, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll
    be book-marking and checking back frequently!

  6. I got this web site from my friend who shared with
    me on the topic of this web page and now this time I am browsing this
    web page and reading very informative articles or reviews

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *