AKP mayoral candidate tells Istanbul rival to ‘patiently wait for results’

AKP mayoral candidate tells Istanbul rival to ‘patiently wait for results’

İSTANBUL
AKP mayoral candidate tells Istanbul rival to ‘patiently wait for results’

Binali Yıldırım, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) candidate for mayor of Istanbul, has emerged after days of silence to call on his main opposition rival to patiently wait for the decision of the Supreme Election Council (YSK), after the ruling party filed appeals against the results of the elections on March 31 which showed the opposition candidate leading with a small margin.

“Complaining about Turkey to the world is the worst thing you can do to the Turkish legal system,” Yıldırım said at a press conference on April 15.

“Reaching out to foreign governments and asking them to pressure Turkey are things abhorred by the Turkish people,” he said.

A Turkish metropolis like Istanbul should not be run by a mayor who comes to the office through rigged elections, Yıldırım said.    

Yıldırım criticized his opponent, the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) Ekrem İmamoğlu, and said it was too early to celebrate victory at a time when the legal proceedings on the election results were ongoing at the YSK. 

“I advise Mr. İmamoğlu, my precious rival, to end this kind of amateur behavior and wait for the ruling of YSK patiently.” 

Yıldırım claimed it was clear that his votes were “stolen” and deliberately registered as votes cast for İmamoğlu.

He added that the mistakes are not just about “irregularities, inaccuracies, suspicions and stolen votes,” but also allegations about Büyükçekmece district, where the ruling party claims the residential addresses of over 11,000 people were unlawfully moved to the district in order to unfairly sway the elections. The CHP says it has data proving otherwise.

“That’s why the gap is constantly narrowing, in our favor,” he said, recalling the recount of votes in Istanbul districts after the AKP’s objection.

local polls 2019, Binali Yıldırım, ekrem imamoğlu