Turkey to open new Istanbul highway on election weekend – report

Turkey’s government will open a key section of a ring road around Istanbul this weekend, Sabah newspaper reported.

The opening of the junction connecting the road to the main TEM highway that runs through the city coincides with a rerun of an election for Istanbul mayor on Sunday.

“The opening of this road will be particularly important for industrialists in the area,” said Cahit Turhan, minister of transport and infrastructure, according to Sabah.

An initial election for mayor of Istanbul, held on March 31, was won by Ekrem İmamoğlu, the candidate of the main opposition party. The nation’s election board later cancelled the vote, holding up an appeal by the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP), which had claimed irregularities were committed.

İmamoğlu is highlighting social justice and inequality during his campaign, as well as claiming that the AKP wasted billions of liras of taxpayer money. The AKP, meanwhile, is highlighting its achievements in improving living standards for the city’s 15 million residents through new hospitals and large infrastructure projects.

Turhan said the AKP would further improve the quality of life in Istanbul by building a new canal through the city that will end the shipping of cargo through the Bosporus Straits. The controversial project was announced by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan almost a decade ago.