In Turkey’s second contest to elect the mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoğlu of the opposition Republican People’s Party again claimed victory, this time winning by a wide margin over his rival Binali Yildirim.
In the first contest held on March 31, Imamoğlu only best his opponent by 13,729 votes, the narrow victory and electoral irregularities prompting a re-do on June 23. In the second round, Imamoğlu defeated his rival by 806,415 votes.
The candidate took 28 of the 39 districts of Istanbul and received more votes than his opponent in 14 areas headed by representatives of the ruling Law and Justice Party (AKP).
STATEMENT OF THE HEAD OF THE CEC
CEC Chairman Sadi Güven said that the results of the election for the mayor of Istanbul were fully recorded in the vote counting system, Ekrem Imamoğlu winning 4,741,868 votes (54.21%), and Binali Yıldırım – 3,935,453 (44, 99%).
According to information provided by Güven, the number of registered voters was 10 million 560 thousand 963 people, of which 8 million 810 thousand voters voted, the number of invalid votes was 178 599, the voter turnout was 84.5 percent.
Güven also called the number of votes cast by the candidates. According to the CEC, the votes were distributed as follows: Ekrem Imamoğlu – 4,741,868 (54.21%), Binali Yıldırım – 3,935,453 (44.99%), Necdet Gökçınar – 47,829 (0.55%), Mustafa İlker Yücel – 14,545 (0.17%).
IMAMOGLU TURNED TO ISTANBUL RESIDENTS
Imamoğlu addressed residents of Istanbul in the city’s Beylikdüzü district, saying:
“We have come for reconciliation, for reunification. We said that love will ultimately win. And what happiness to see that love really won. We came for the children of this city, his beautiful children, for his energy and conscience – for the sake of women, for the sake of his men, in a word, for the sake of all.
Get rid of all the prejudices that you keep in your creation. We do not care which religion you profess, or which lifestyle you prefer, we came to embrace you all. We have come to restore respect for all religions in this city.
We did not come for the sake of Alevis or Sunnis, we came for the sake of all. In this city there is no concept of a minority; we will embrace a Greek, an Armenian, an Assyrian, a Jew, and all those who live in this city. We will build democracy and justice in this city. I promise you that we will build a wonderful future in this great city.
We in this city will grow free generations with an open consciousness, which will always and everywhere protect national and moral values, the unity and integrity of the motherland, and the independence of Turkey. I promise you: in this city, we will neither deceive nor deceive.
In your presence, I appeal to the people of my beautiful homeland. I am a project, a project of the Republic of Ataturk.
We reconcile politics with morality. I promise you, I will become “Brother Ekrem” for children and young people. Together we will do wonderful things. Today we will build a democracy. You gave the best answer to a handful of people who stand behind the decision of May 6th. Thank you! From now on we will laugh. Isn’t it time to smile for us, isn’t it? Today is a terrific evening, a delightful evening.
“THE TIME OF PARTNERSHIP IS ENDED”
Politics is the domain of service and task fulfillment. We will serve. In the Union of Istanbul, all are represented – my brothers from PDN, AKP, PND, DLP. Parties are a means to serve.
The main thing is the people. The people, the nation – above all. Unconditional and unlimited sovereignty belongs to the nation. We will never forget about it. Starting tomorrow, we will start working.
On this wonderful evening, you did not leave us and never leave us again. Together we will raise Istanbul to its feet. We will start mobilization in Istanbul. In a short time, we have a lot to do. Thank you for support. Say hi to everyone, hug everyone. I want you to say hello to all your countrymen and neighbors. Do not make an exception for anyone, the time of partisans has passed. It is time for conscience and openness, justice and law. ”
CONGRATULATIONS FROM ERDOGAN
Erdogan congratulated the new mayor of Istanbul on his Twitter account.
In a statement, the president said: “I wish the results of the re-election of the mayor of Istanbul would be for the good and benefit of our Istanbul. The will of the people once again found expression. Congratulations to Ekrem Imamoğlu, who, according to unofficial results of the vote, won the election. ”
Erdogan stressed that the authorities will continue, as they had before, to achieve the goals set for 2023, working with the perspectives put forth by the new leader of Istanbul, maintaining unity and integrity, and making no concessions to the development of democracy, the rule of law, peace, prosperity and stability in the country.
“We will continue to work with care and thoroughness on all external and internal issues facing Turkey, in particular, during the upcoming G-20 summit at the end of the month, the visit to China, as well as the summit of the countries of Southern Europe and the Balkans.”
Binali Yıldırım CONGRATULATED THE WINNER
Binali Yıldırım congratulated his rival on his victory.
Yıldırım stressed that the past elections vividly demonstrated the flawless work of the democratic process in Turkey, and said: “I hope that the results of the voting will go to the benefit and prosperity of our Istanbul. I wish our colleague Ekrem Imamoğlu good luck in his post as Istanbul Mayor. I want to emphasize that we will try to support him in all endeavors for the benefit of the residents of Istanbul. I wish that the decision made by Istanbul people over the next 5 years will bring benefit and benefit for our women, children, for all 15 million residents in Istanbul. Thank you. “