Istanbul: election campaign starts up again
The decision to repeat Istanbul's mayoral election at the end of June at the behest of Erdoğan's AK party has triggered a public outcry in Turkey and beyond. Opposition candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu, who won the election at the end of March by a razor-thin majority, has stressed that "everything will be alright" and called on artists and business people to speak out. Turkish media discuss the start of the new election campaign.
Things are happening in Istanbul
The first days of the new election campaign are grounds for optimism, comments Gazete Duvar:
“The impact that the 'Everything will be alright' is having on the streets and in glossy magazines shows that the spiral of silence had been broken, that this time people have overcome their fears. ... Will they [the AKP] finally realise that the only way to hold on to their power for a while is to admit that they lost the election in Istanbul long ago? And that it's time to restore peace in society? We don't know. This time, though, the words sung by Demirtaş [the imprisoned former HDP leader] to his voters from his prison cell in Edirne and İmamoğlu's appeal have been heard by artists and public figures. And this shows that things are really happening in Istanbul.”
AKP supporters must stay loyal
The Daily Sabah outlines the campaign strategy of the CHP:
“The main opposition party will seek to exploit the electoral board's decision to start a public debate on the state of Turkish democracy and seize the moral high ground by painting themselves as victims. They are already using business leaders, artists and social media to convey that message. The neck-and-neck race in Istanbul will be decided by each side's ability to mobilize voters. Many voters who did not participate in the March 31 election were former AK Party supporters. As such, the opposition will work hard to demoralize the AK Party base. Hopefully, the AK Party supporters who focus on negatives during the campaign know that they are playing into the opposite side's hands.”