Joint TV interview of AKP and CHP mayoral candidates coming after Eid al-Fitr
A joint TV interview with the two leading Istanbul mayoral candidates Binali Yıldırım of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Ekrem İmamoğlu of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is planned for after the Eid al-Fitr holiday, the AKP deputy chair has announced.
“We will establish contact about a joint live broadcast after the holidays,” Mahil Ünal told reporters on June 4, in the southeastern province of Kahramanmaraş.
Ünal also said that talks concerning a joint television program involved CHP group deputy chair Engin Altay who conveyed the information to CHP chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
“[Altay] expressed that meetings were conducted with Mr. İmamoğlu after Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu’s approval and that we can contact with each other right after the holiday,” Ünal said.
The AKP deputy chair’s remarks came after Yıldırım said he was amenable to a joint TV interview with İmamoğlu.
Meanwhile, İmamoğlu on June 3 said that the CHP had previously requested a joint television appearance by the candidates before the March 31 elections but that the AKP did not agree to it at that time.
Millions of Turkish voters cast their votes nationwide on March 31 in local elections to choose mayors, city council members, mukhtars (village heads) and members of elder councils for the next five years.
But the state elections authority rescinded İmamoğlu’s win in the Istanbul mayoral race after the AKP and its electoral partner, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), appealed the election results, citing irregularities and violations of Turkish election law.
The election board decided on June 23 to re-do polls for the Istanbul mayoral race.