Newly elected mayor says Istanbul will be model for democracy

Istanbul's new mayor from the main opposition said on Sunday the city would become a place where local democracy arises, Turkish newspaper Sözcü reported.

"During my period, all different voices, colours, faiths would be regarded as an opportunity rather than a risk for the city," Ekrem İmamoğlu of the Republican People's Party (CHP) said at a rally in Maltepe district to celebrate his election victory. 

He said even though populist leaders try to suppress rights and freedoms in their countries, a new democracy will emerge from Istanbul and Turkey. 

“The time of serving ‘the man’, associations, persons, foundations, and religious groups has ended,” said Imamoğlu four days after local polls on March 31. “We will start such a transparent administration that, everything, including my mayorship, will be made public,” he added.

Imamoğlu on Apr. 17 received the certificate he needs to take office, making him the mayor of Istanbul 17 days after the local elections since the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its far-right allies have disputed the results and demanded a partial recount and a rerun of the polls in Istanbul. It is still possible a rerun of the vote could be held.