Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on June 23 hailed a high turnout in the do-over local election in Istanbul, congratulating the elected mayor.
“I congratulate Ekrem İmamoğlu, who won the election according to the unofficial results,” the president said in a tweet yesterday. The president also said the election alliance of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) would procede.
“Istanbul voters will make the most accurate decision for the city,” Erdoğan told reporters earlier in the day, after casting his vote in Istanbul’s Üsküdar district on the Anatolian side.
The turnout stood at nearly 85 percent of a total of 10,570,222 voters. At least 8,680,850 valid votes were counted.
Efforts were spent to transport Istanbul voters who were out of the city for the day and take them back, he added.
Top contenders Binali Yıldırım and Ekrem İmamoğlu raced for the mayoral seat of Turkey’s most populous city on June 23.
The Leyla Bayram Primary School in Istanbul’s Avcılar district on the European side had its busiest day on election day. With more than 18,000 voters registered in the 53 ballot boxes placed in its classrooms, the school was the biggest polling station in Istanbul.
Fatma Tunca, a 77-year-old who recently had a hip surgery, was brought to a school in an ambulance in the Samandıra neighborhood on the Asian side to cast her vote. She was one of the elderly and disabled people who were escorted by officials to the ballot boxes.
The newly opened Istanbul Airport also witnessed a busy day with thousands of people flocking to the districts where their addresses are registered.
According to İbrahim Tansel from the Central Anatolian province of Sivas, the election offered an opportunity to see his friends.
Dursun Çağlayan from the Black Sea province of Trabzon told Demirören News Agency at the airport that his family had businesses in both cities. “We will cast our votes as a family and go back to Trabzon,” he said.
Tight security measures were taken for the election across the city, with no serious incidents being reported.
Source: Hurriyet Daily News (Serkan Demirtas)
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