Turkish ruling party keeps thanking Istanbul for win, despite losing polls for mayor

Even after the victory of main opposition candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu in the race for Istanbul mayor, Turkey’s ruling party continues to place banners around the city thanking voters for electing their candidate, news site BirGün reported on Tuesday.

One such banner ad was placed next to the district election board in Kadıköy, a famously secular-minded district that again elected a CHP district mayor in Sunday’s local elections.

CHP Kadıköy District President Ali Narin said the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had come to expect to win, despite the actual vote count.

“There is still a mentality that says ‘We won’,” Narin said in a statement to BirGün. According to state-run Anadolu news agency and the Supreme Electoral Board, İmamoğlu won the election, he said. “Those who love these ads live in another world, not in Turkey. Ekrem İmamoğlu was chosen by the people of Istanbul. The election result is clear.”

The AKP did win the mayoral seats in 24 of Istanbul’s 39 districts. In some areas of Istanbul, residents on Monday tore down AKP banners showing Erdoğan and the party’s mayoral candidate, Binali Yıldırım.

Torn AKP posters Istanbul -- credit Sarah Dadouch
Torn AKP posters Istanbul -- credit Sarah Dadouch