CHP’s Imamoğlu: The outcome not a "victory" but a "new beginning"

According to unofficial results, Ekrem İmamoğlu of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) has won the mayoral election repeated in Istanbul city today.

Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu won the mayoral election in Istanbul in 31 March local elections. The election was cancelled by the Supreme Board of Elections on 6 May following an appeal made by the AKP.

People of Istanbul have gone to the polls once again today starting from 8 am. Sunday’s contest was joined by AKP candidate Binali Yıldırım, CHP candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu, Saadet (Felicity) Party candidate Necdet Gökçınar, Vatan (Homeland) Party candidate Mustafa İlker Yücel and 16 independent candidates.

According to unofficial results, CHP’s Imamoğlu has won the election, winning 777,581 thousand votes more than AKP’s Yıldırım. The difference is 56 times higher than that in 31 March elections, which was 13,729.

While Binali Yıldırım won the municipalities in Istanbul’s 11 districts, Ekrem İmamoğlu was supported in 28 districts.

Speaking to the press after the announcement of unofficial results, Imamoğlu addressed the people of Istanbul and said: “You protected the dignity of Turkey's democracy in front of the whole world. You protected our more than a century-old democratic tradition, thanks to fellow citizens of Istanbul.”

He said the outcome of the election is not a "victory" but a "new beginning" for the city.

"Today, 16 million Istanbulites have renewed our faith in democracy and our trust in justice. This was realized not only by those who voted for me, but all our citizens who helped us carry this election with great maturity and calm," he said.

Imamoğlu also called on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, saying he is willing to meet with him as soon as possible.

"I am calling on our head of state, President Erdoğan. I'm ready and willing to work in harmony with you on Istanbul's urgent issues such as earthquake safety in the city, subway construction, refugees and so on," he said.