İmamoğlu, Yıldırım Say ‘Dialogue Must Continue’ After First TV Debate in 17 Years

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  • June 17, 2019
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(L-R) Büşra Köylübay (Yıldırım’s daughter), İsmail Küçükkaya (TV host), Ekrem İmamoğlu, Dilek İmamoğlu, Semiha Yıldırım, Binali Yıldırım, Mehmet Selim İmamoğlu.

Click to read the article in Turkish

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) candidate for İstanbul’s repeat election on June 23, Binali Yıldırım, and his rival from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Ekrem İmamoğlu, faced off in a live debate last night (June 16).

Towards the end of the debate, İmamoğlu invited Yıldırım to take the picture, who accepted and invited his rival to “have a tea” some time.

After the broadcast ended, both candidates briefly talked to reporters, with İmamoğlu saying, “I hope this will be a beginning. I thank all media organizations and press laborers who contributed to this. İstanbulites will make the decision. Our nation will show its will on June 23. Everything will be fine.”

Yıldırım made similar comments to his rival: “From now on, the debates of candidates will be good for our nation to embrace one another.

İstanbulites have come together after a long break. We talked about İstanbul on live broadcast. Ekrem and I replied questions with sincerity. Despite the extra time, we could tell only half of what will we do. The time was not enough. We talked, the people of Istanbul will make the decision. Sincerity will win İstanbul, experience will win.”

The repeat elections for the mayor of the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality will take place on June 23. The Supreme Election Council (YSK) annulled the March 31 elections which İmamoğlu won by less than 14 thousand votes on the ground of “irregularities” regarding the election councils. (AS/VK)