Transparent, but very tense. This is how Andrew Dawson, head of a Council of Europe delegation of observers, has described the local election in Istanbul.
Andrew Dawson added that “I believe now is the time to turn the page. Yesterday, the citizens of Istanbul elected a new mayor in a well-organized and transparent vote, albeit under tense circumstances. The result is very clear, we expect the freely expressed will of the voters will be respected. The ballot box, not the Court, is the best place to decide elections.”
Yesterday’s election was a slap in the face for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party, which lost control of Istanbul after 25 years. With nearly all votes counted, the Opposition candidate Ekrem Imamglu is ahead by nearly 775,000 votes. An impressive increase over the first local election held in Istanbul in March, and which had to be repeated yesterday after Erdogan alleged there had been irregularities. This time around, Erdogan conceded defeat on Twitter and congratulated Ekrem Imamoglu, who declared this victory means a fresh start both for Istanbul and for Turkey.