Turkey's Ekrem Imamoglu formally takes Istanbul mayor post

Turkey's Ekrem Imamoglu formally takes Istanbul mayor post
2 min read
27 June, 2019
Turkey's opposition politician Ekrem Imamoglu has taken up the post of Istanbul mayor.
Imamoglu won the Istanbul mayoral race for a second time [AFP]
Istanbul's new mayor, Ekrem Imamoglu, formally took office on Thursday, four days after he won an election to head the city for a second time.

The Republican People's Party's (CHP) Imamoglu on Thursday was handed a certificate confirming his position as head of Turkey's largest city and commercial hub for the next five years.

Imamoglu will attend a ceremony during which Istanbul's governor - the interim mayor - will hand over the city hall.

He won the first election on 31 March by just 16,000 votes after a recount, with Turkey's electoral body annulling the vote and ordering an election rerun.

On Sunday he won the second election by more than 806,000 votes, beating the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) Binali Yildirim.

Analyst Bashdar Ismaeel wrote for The New Arab saying the decision to re-run the election might backfire for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"Ultimately, the gamble in pressuring Turkey's Supreme Election Council to order a rerun of the vote in Istanbul, over allegations of voter irregularities and corruption, backfired, as Imamoglu won again by a far more convincing margin of 800,000 or 54.21 percent of the vote, marking the biggest defeat for the AKP in almost two decades."

Erdogan vowed on Tuesday to draw lessons from the AKP's election defeat and make adjustments in line with "the messages given by the people".