May 07 2019

Airlines, travel officials at work to ensure Istanbulites participate in vote rerun

Turkey’s airlines and tourism organisations on Tuesday announced measures encouraging residents of Istanbul to delay their summer vacations until the rerun of Istanbul’s mayoral election, independent news site Diken reported.

The residents of Istanbul, home to 16 million people, will head to the polls once again to choose their mayor on June 23, following a decision by the country’s Supreme Election Council (YSK) to scrap the March 31 polls after an appeal by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) over allegations of fraud and irregularities at the ballot boxes.

The end of June generally sees a large exodus from Istanbul, particularly among the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) supporters. CHP’s candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu scored a narrow victory against the ruling party candidate on March 31, winning the mayoral seat for the city for the main opposition party for first time in 25 years.

The country's airlines Pegasus and Atlasjet on Tuesday announced they would issue full refunds and cancellations for travellers who had booked flights for the day of the election redo, June 23rd.

Turkey’s national flag carrier Turkish Airlines has yet to make an announcement, however, is expected to follow the same policy as Pegasus, along with the county’s other airlines.

Meanwhile, the Vice Chairman of the Turkish Hoteliers Federation and the South Aegean Tourist Hoteliers and Operators Association Bülent Bülbüloğlu issued a statement to travellers to take their vacations after the polls to “ensure a healthy election.”