May 08 2019

Protests in Istanbul after election board rules for re-run

Protesters took to the streets of Istanbul on Tuesday night after the Turkish election authorities nullified a mayoral election that had ended with an opposition victory.

The Supreme Election Board (YSK) scrapped the result of the vote for Istanbul mayor that was lost by the candidate backed by the president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in response to an appeal by his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), whose candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu narrowly won the mayor’s office in the country’s economic hub, called the ruling a “plain dictatorship".

In many districts of Istanbul, loud protests were heard as residents banged pots and pans — a traditional symbol of anger. Thousands took part in the protests in several Istanbul districts, including Kadıköy, Beşiktaş, Sarıyer, Okmeydanı and Esenyurt, where the majority of the population voted for the CHP. 

 

The YSK ruling also sparked an outcry on social media, with voters posting thousands of support messages to opposition politician İmamoğlu. The election will be re-run on June 23.