Erdoğan urges unity in wake of local polls

Erdoğan urges unity in wake of local polls

ISTANBUL

In the wake of last month’s local elections, the Turkish people should seek greater “unity and solidarity” and focus on the nation’s pressing issues, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said.

“Leaving the election debates behind, we need to focus on our main agenda, particularly economy and security,” Erdoğan said in a Twitter message on April 19.

Erdoğan urged “handshaking, embracing each other, and strengthening our unity and solidarity” while maintaining the balance of freedom and security.

Erdoğan vowed to put into practice the structural reforms that Turkey needs while resolutely countering terrorism.

“We 82 million [Turkish people] have to unite and act jointly as a Turkey alliance on the issues concerning the future of our country, putting aside all our political differences,” he said.

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Erdoğan’s remarks came after Ekrem İmamoğlu of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) this week officially became mayor of Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, home to some 16 million people.

Millions of Turkish voters cast their votes nationwide on March 31 in local elections to choose mayors, city council members, and other officials for the next five years.

Despite İmamoğlu officially taking office, his election still faces legal challenges from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Passover wishes to nation’s Jews

Meanwhile, Erdoğan has released a message expressing Passover (Pesach) holiday greetings to the nation’s Jewish community.

“Our social structure, based on respect for peace and all beliefs, cemented with mutual love and respect and enriched by its differences, is the foundation of our firm unity and solidarity,” Erdoğan said in a message released on April 19.

Passover, which commemorates the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt under the Prophet Moses, is considered one of the most important holidays on the Jewish calendar.

Stressing Turkey’s multicultural, multi-faith character, Erdoğan emphasized the importance that all sectors of Turkish society “live their religions and traditions freely.”

“On the occasion of their holidays, I would like to express my best wishes to all Jews, especially our Jewish citizens, with whom we live in peace, and greet them with my heart.”

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