The Turkish opposition’s candidate has formally been declared mayor of Istanbul — but his victory may prove short-lived.
Ekrem İmamoğlu of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) received his official mayoral certificate from the city’s local electoral authorities on Wednesday afternoon, more than two weeks after Turkey’s March 31 municipal elections.
Following a series of recounts, final results showed İmamoğlu had beaten the candidate of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) by around 13,000 votes in a city of 10 million voters.
Yet Wednesday’s move does not mark a definite end to the wrangling over Turkey’s largest city.
Earlier this week, the AKP applied for the Istanbul election to be cancelled and held again, claiming the vote had been marred by widespread irregularities. Binali Yıldırım, the AKP’s candidate for mayor, asserted on Monday that it was clear his votes had been “stolen.”
For Erdoğan, who has often repeated the saying that “whoever wins Istanbul, wins Turkey,” defeat in the country’s economic hub is a significant blow: he and his conservative allies have held sway in the city for a quarter of a century,…