Opposition mayoral candidate İmamoğlu holds rallies in three İstanbul districts

Opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu on Wednesday campaigned in Istanbul’s Asian districts of Maltepe, Pendik and Tuzla ahead of the city’s June 24 mayoral revote.

Thousands came out in support of the opposition candidate, who defeated the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) opponent Binali Yıldırım by a narrow margin in the March 31 local elections.

The city of 16 million, where the secularist opposition candidate İmamoğlu’s victory on March 31 appeared to have ended 25 years of Islamist rule, is set for a redo next month, after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling party appealed the polls.

İmamoğlu shared images from his rallies in Tuzla, Pendik and Maltepe on Twitter.

Twitter users also shared images from the rallies on Wednesday.

The CHP mayor of Istanbul’s Maltepe municipality, Ali Kılıç, posted images of İmamoğlu with businessmen and industrialists, noting that together with the CHP candidate they would deliver projects for the financial development of the city of 16 million.

In his speeches, İmamoğlu vowed to end partisanship, which he said, had permeated the city’s municipality, while reiterating his promise of employment opportunities for the city’s residents.

The CHP candidate underlined the extravagance and wastefulness of the municipality run by the Islamist party and its predecessor for over two decades. 

The expenditures of AKP municipalities have come under the spotlight and drawn criticism after the Islamist party lost five of Turkey’s most populous provinces to the main opposition CHP in the March 31 local elections.

Reports by critical news outlets have focused on exorbitant amounts of municipal funds funneled to conservative Istanbul-based foundations run by the Turkish president’s family members and inner circle.