Turkey's ruling AKP shares altered video of opposition's Istanbul candidate, mars campaign -Cumhuriyet

Turkey's ruling party officials have used modified footage from the televised speech of the main opposition party Istanbul mayoral candidate, misleading the audience and marring his campaign ahead of city's election rerun on June 23, opposition daily Cumhuriyet said on Tuesday.

Ekrem İmamoğlu, the Republican People's Party (CHP) Istanbul candidate, won the mayoral seat on March 31 local elections by a narrow margin against his ruling party rival. But the country's top electoral board annulled the vote and ruled for an election rerun over an appeal by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) who cited irregularities and fraud at the ballots.

During an interview on pro-government HaberTürk on Monday, İmamoğlu was asked whether he had a message to groups considered as terrorist organisations by the Turkish state, namely the Gülen movement and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), over the international press reports on Istanbul election.

"Come, let's govern Turkey together. AKP obtained authority on June 24 (2018 general elections). Who is more patriot? This country has 82 million patriots. We are all together standing against terrorist organisations," İmamoğlu said.

Following İmamoğlu's comments, AKP's Istanbul official posted a video which cut to the CHP candidate saying "let's govern Turkey together," immediately after the question, misleading the audience to believe the opposition candidate would like to govern Turkey with said organisations, according to Cumhuriyet.

İmamoğlu commented on the altered footage that has gone viral on Twitter, saying that the ruling AKP is trying to defame him and posted the entire, unmodified video.

Several AKP officials circulated the modified footage on Twitter, sparking debates by followers of İmamoğlu over defamation of his election campaign ahead of the election rerun on June 23, the newspaper said.