Istanbul mayoral contest takes centre stage as Turkey votes in local elections

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan seeks to dislodge Ekrem İmamoğlu and bring city back under control of Justice and Development party

Voters in Turkey have gone to the polls for local elections as the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, seeks to bring Istanbul back under his party’s control in a showdown with his last major challenger, the incumbent mayor, Ekrem İmamoğlu.

“Let Istanbul return to its rightful owners … You need to rescue this ancient city from the oppression of the CHP,” Erdoğan told attenders at one of two pre-election rallies he held in Turkey’s largest city, referring to the opposition Republican People’s party (CHP).

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