CHP begins Istanbul election bid, backs Imamoglu
Republican People's Party (CHP) has officially launched its local election campaign in Istanbul. At a candidate launch event held at the Haliç Congress Center, Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, running for re-election, initiated his campaign with the slogan "Full Speed Ahead."
CHP (Republican People's Party) Leader Özgür Özel and Istanbul Provincial Chairman Özgür Çelik also attended the launch.
Özgür Çelik, CHP Istanbul Provincial Chairman, spoke at the event, emphasizing the significance of the upcoming election. "Our beautiful country and its kind-hearted people do not deserve this current situation. That's why this election is historic. Together, we will change this picture in the local elections in Istanbul and Turkey, bringing hope back to our people as we head towards 2028."
Çelik reflected on the challenges faced by Mayor İmamoğlu, stating, "Since 2019, Istanbul has been governed with participatory, democratic, egalitarian, fair, and people-centered approaches. Despite numerous obstacles, İmamoğlu's administration has achieved significant successes in the past 4.5 years."
The event highlighted the political and social challenges in Istanbul, with an emphasis on overcoming attempts to hinder services to Istanbul's citizens. Çelik praised İmamoğlu's administration for transforming Istanbul into a fairer, greener, and more creative city, citing achievements in metro and transportation investments, infrastructure, childcare facilities, scholarships, and community restaurants.
Looking ahead to the upcoming local elections, Çelik called for unity and resistance against the divisive tactics of the ruling party. "We, the Republican People's Party (CHP), are the cement of this country. We guarantee the coexistence and freedom of all citizens, regardless of their beliefs or identities. We are the political tradition that founded the Republic and the state. Our party, founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, advocates for peace at home and abroad."
Özgür Özel, CHP Leader, also spoke at the event. He highlighted the party's commitment to transparency, cutting waste, and spreading services to all 16 million residents of Istanbul. Criticizing the ruling party's approach, Özel asserted, "We've stopped certain interest groups from exploiting Istanbul. Since 2019, we've dramatically increased the quality of services in Istanbul, countering the rampant waste and favoritism of the past."
Özel praised İmamoğlu's administration for its resilience and achievements despite numerous challenges. "Despite economic difficulties, we've managed to deliver twice the services of the previous administration, at half the budget," he said.
In his speech, Özel also criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's governance, pointing to his handling of constitutional matters and recent events involving a football match relocated to Saudi Arabia. He accused Erdoğan of being solely responsible for the controversy and called for accountability and defense of the Republic and its constitution.
Concluding his speech, Özel invited Mayor İmamoğlu to the stage, who was greeted with chants and applause. İmamoğlu, in his speech, reflected on the achievements and challenges of his administration, emphasizing the importance of continuing to serve the people of Istanbul with dedication and resilience.
"We are committed to building an Istanbul where all 16 million residents can live in peace and security. This election will be a significant step towards achieving that goal," İmamoğlu stated, promising to overcome obstacles and continue working towards a better future for Istanbul and its citizens.