Columnist ponders President Erdoğan’s son Bilal as surprise candidate for Istanbul mayor

Mehmet Y. Yılmaz, a columnist for the Turkish news portal T24, has speculated that Bilal Erdoğan, the son of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, may follow in his father’s footsteps by stepping forward as a candidate to become Mayor of Istanbul in upcoming local elections.

Tayyip Erdoğan served as Mayor of Istanbul from 1994 to 1998, a successful spell that helped cement his popularity and played a role in bringing him to power after his Justice and Development party (AKP) won general elections in 2002.

According to Yılmaz, Bilal Erdoğan is currently conducting a public relations campaign that raises suspicions he may be looking to repeat his father’s success in the local elections, due before the end of March next year.

The president’s son has been appearing on popular radio channels where he has sung Italian and Turkish songs, Yılmaz wrote.

He has also taken the opportunity to describe painful memories from his past. “After all, voters love the downtrodden,” Yılmaz said.

The personal appearances have been accompanied by larger coverage in columns in Turkey’s sizable contingent of pro-government newspapers, said Yılmaz.