Opposition mayor elect must propose 'realistic projects' for AKP-majority Istanbul - Erdoğan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said his party has the majority in the municipal assembly and the newly elected opposition mayor must propose "realistic" projects to get support, Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported on Wednesday.
The secularist main opposition Republican People’s Party's candidate, Ekrem İmamoğlu, delivered a decisive victory in the Istanbul mayoral rerun election on June 23.
Turkey's top electoral body had annulled the initial polls following the Islamist ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)'s appeal citing widespread irregularities, but İmamoğlu managed to turn his razor-thin lead into a landslide victory in Sunday’s rerun.
"If he comes with realistic projects in line with the interests of Istanbul, of course the AKP group will support it. However, if he comes with unacceptable projects, then for the benefit of Istanbul we will never give support to such projects," the Turkish president told Nikkei in an interview while in Japan for the G20 summit.
After İmamoğlu’s first victory on March 31, Erdoğan said the opposition mayor would have problems running the city since the AKP had won 25 of its 39 districts and holds a majority in the municipal assembly.
Erdoğan launched his political career by becoming mayor of Istanbul in 1994 and his allies have controlled the city ever since.
Erdoğan adopted a defiant tone on the AKP's loss in Istanbul. "In Turkey, there is no will above the will of the nation, and no decision above the decision of the nation," he said.