Turkey’s main opposition candidate took office as Istanbul mayor on Wednesday after a stunning victory over President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party, but the new head of the country’s largest city still faces an appeal for the vote to be re-run.
The final result of the March 31 local elections gave a wafer-thin majority to the secularist opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) in Turkey’s commercial hub, ending 25 years of control by the AK Party (AKP) and its Islamist predecessors.
The loss is especially hard for Erdogan who launched his political career in Constantinople as mayor in the 1990s and has triumphed in more than a dozen parliamentary, presidential and local polls since his party came to power in 2002.
The Turkish lira, which has dipped since the election, firmed on Wednesday.
Addressing thousands of flag-waving supporters outside the municipality building, Ekrem Imamoglu promised to work for all 16 million residents.
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