AKP and CHP’s İstanbul Candidates to Face Off in Unprecedented Debate

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  • June 10, 2019
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Leaders or candidates of the political parties debating on TV was not uncommon in Turkey until the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002.

From then on, neither Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President and the Chair of the party, nor a notable figure from the party debated with a rival politician on television despite calls from the opposition.

This fashion will come to an end on June 16, one week before the repeat elections for the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality.

Ahead of the repeat elections, officials from the two parties began talks for a live debate, which yielded a result today (June 10).

AKP Vice Chair Mahir Ünal and Engin Altay, the Deputy Chair of the CHP’s parliamentary group, have held a joint press conference, announcing a six-article protocol on the debate.

Accordingly, the debate will be held at 9 p.m. on June 16 and will be broadcasted by all the TV channels which are willing to broadcast the debate. TV journalist İsmail Küçükkaya from the Fox TV will moderate the debate.

Both candidates will be asked an equal number of questions and given equal time to talk, the protocol said.

The group of people who will broadcast the debate will also be formed by the two parties jointly.

The Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) İmamoğlu won the March 31 elections by less than 14 thousand votes but the Supreme Election Council, the highest judicial body on the elections, canceled the polls in a controversial verdict, on the ground of “irregularities regarding the ballot box councils,” which led İmamoğlu to be stripped of his election mandate. (HA/VK)