'We are united now for a new beginning' - New Mayor of Istanbul | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

22 May, Wednesday

'We are united now for a new beginning' - New Mayor of Istanbul

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Istanbul's new mayor on Sunday called for a rally to celebrate a "new beginning" urging people to unite after he won a highly contested race against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling party.

Ekrem Imamoglu, 49, of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), narrowly edged out his rival to capture Istanbul mayor's office in a stinging setback to Erdogan's ruling AKP after a decade and a half in power.

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) is still seeking a rerun of the March 31 Istanbul ballot, but electoral authorities on Wednesday handed Imamoglu his mandate after he won a slim 13,000-vote lead over AKP's Binali Yildirim.

 "We are united now. The whole of Istanbul is meeting in Maltepe for a 'new beginning'," the new mayor announced on his official Twitter account on Saturday.

Imamoglu, who will govern the city for the next five years, said the Maltepe rally was not a political gathering, but a way to introduce the city's new administration to the people of Istanbul.

"I want you to know that a new beginning is very valuable," he said. "The coming five years is not only five years for the mayor but also for 16 million people."

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