All eyes on Istanbul as polls close in mayoral revote

Turkey Breaking News EDITOR’S PICKS
All eyes on Istanbul as polls close in mayoral revote 13

Nearly 11 million people are registered to vote in the mayoral election rerun in Istanbul this Sunday, but the eyes of the whole nation will be on the results of what has become a crucial contest between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)’s Binali Yıldırım and the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP)’s Ekrem İmamoğlu.

Politicians share messages as voting continues in Istanbul rerun election

  • CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has made his first statement after the vote, repeating İmamoğlu’s slogan: “You’ll see, everything is going to be just fine”.
  • (Update) Secularist daily Cumhuriyet reports that 111 people face legal action for breaching the law at the polls. Photographing the ballot paper was the most common infringement, recorded 43 times, while 22 people face repercussions for arguing at polling stations. Seven people have been detained for wearing clothing bearing political messages, shouting slogans at polling stations or alcohol-related charges, the rest were released after giving statements.

    Left-wing nationalist outlet Ulusal Kanal reported at 5:47 p.m. that the number had risen to 124.

  • The head of the Istanbul provincial electoral board, Ziya Bülent Öner, is receiving treatment in hospital after suffering a heart spasm on Saturday night, and his duties for today’s vote have been taken over by ranking board member Nilgün Uçar, left-wing daily BirGün reported.
  • 5 p.m., and polling stations are officially closed in Istanbul. Voters and politicians are in for a tense night as counts begin.
  • Yıldırım has urged voters and observers not to abandon ballot boxes – a call usually made by opposition politicians.

    Kıymetli müşahit kardeşlerim, görevinizi lâyıkıyla yapacağınızdan hiç şüphem yok. Son ana kadar oylarımıza sahip çıkalım, sandıkları terketmeyelim. Sizlere güvenim tam! Hepinize teşekkür ediyorum. 🇹🇷

    — Binali Yıldırım (@BY) June 23, 2019

  • The Supreme Election Council (YSK) has accepted an application by the AKP and CHP for ballots stamped with the incorrect seal from last year’s parliamentary election to be counted as valid, as well as unstamped ballots and those stamped multiple times.

    The decision arrived after the YSK met for a two-hour meeting on Sunday to evaluate the request from both parties.

  • High-profile political figures have been among the millions to cast their votes so far, with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan expressing his regret that the city has to head to the ballot boxes to select a mayor for the second time this year.

    After İmamoğlu won the first vote on March 31, the AKP appealed to the YSK claiming serious irregularities had taken place. The electoral board ruled to annul the election on May 6 and hold the rerun on June 23.

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