President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday said his ruling party would keep up its challenge to the İstanbul election results after the main opposition candidate became mayor but that Turkey needed to end debate on the issue and focus on issues like the economy, Reuters reported.
After 17 days of objections and recounts, the secularist opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) new mayor, Ekrem İmamoğlu, took office on Wednesday, despite a pending request by the AKP to annul and repeat the mayoral election in İstanbul.
“We will continue with this struggle of ours to the end. When the YSK [Supreme Election Board] gives the last word, the matter will be closed for us,” Erdoğan said in a speech at a union confederation event.
Erdoğan said Turkey needs to use the next four-and-a-half years until scheduled elections effectively and tackle economic and security problems while pushing through structural reforms.
“It is essential to move on from election disputes and focus on our real agenda, notably the economy and security,” he added.
Victory for the secularist CHP’s İmamoğlu in the municipal election was a heavy blow to Erdoğan and put an end to 25 years of control by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its Islamist predecessors in Turkey’s commercial hub.