Turkish opposition wins Istanbul City Hall | International | -

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The streets of Istanbul were jubilant last night after the election of Ekrem Imamoglu as mayor of the city. The opposition CHP candidate won the municipal elections with around 55% of the vote, while his victory in the March elections was contested by the ruling AKP, which had been annulled.

His rival AKP, Benal Yildirim, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, congratulated the opponent's victory on Sunday with a tweet.

For his part, Ekrem Imamoglu said he was "willing to cooperate" with the presidential camp. But this defeat should not weaken the power of Turkish President Erdogan What is the election of Ekrem Imamoglu in the economic capital the sign?

Listen to the analysis of Samim Akgönül, political scientist who teaches at the University of Strasbourg by clicking on the picture of the article.

Samim Akgönül: Turkey is a very centralized country. Imamoglu's victory in Istanbul can not be considered a change of governance or administrative change. But it is a victory anyway, not only of the Social Democrats, so secularists, of the CHP movement, but also of the Kurds who supported it and all the democratic forces that supported it. There are also those who have been disappointed with the policies of the AKP for about ten years in Turkey as a whole.

And then the taking of Istanbul, the taking of Constantinople, is a strong image in the unconscious of the Turks. Beyond the symbolic importance, there is the political importance, Recep Tayyip Erdogan began his political career as mayor of Istanbul in 1994.

And finally, the Istanbul City Hall has a financial importance, not so much for its own budget, but through hundreds of semi-private semi-public companies, which control public procurement. Pro-government NGOs are supported by the city council.

In fact, for the past 25 years, political Islam in Turkey has instrumentalised Istanbul as a cash register for distributing money and attracting the media. Businessmen and NGOs so this source is cut off.

-: To summarize your analysis, you think that it is a defeat of the AKP certainly, symbolic also for the presidential camp, but it will not diminish the gigantic powers of Recep Tayyip Erdogan?

Certainly not, the mayor of Istanbul does not have that power. It is not because Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya or Izmir have been lost that the central power has weakened politically. We will see now if symbolically in the speeches, there will be a shift.

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