IPANEWS

It’s official: Yildirim is the AK Party’s chosen man for Istanbul 

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has finally confirmed speculation that Turkey’s former prime minister and parliamentary speaker Binali Yildirim will be its mayoral candidate for Istanbul.

The announcement came as the party unveiled 74 mayoral candidates for the upcoming local government elections.

The announcement of the Istanbul mayoral candidates was made by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Sinan Erdem Sports Complex.

Istanbul is one of the world’s great metropolises with population of 15 million packed into an area of 1539 square kilometres.

Erdogan also announced 39 AK Party mayoral candidates for various Istanbul districts.

Companion of 40 years 

Erdogan, who last July awarded Yildirim the State Medal of Honour, praised Yildirim as being his trustworthy companion for the past 40 years.

“Our 40-year friendship with Binali Bey has survived many tests successfully. Our friendship becomes more riveted and strengthened through sharing joy and pain. Mr Binali has always been ready in a most speedy way in our most difficult times. He never left us in 40 years of companionship as some others did.”

Yildirim, who is the AK Party’s Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality mayoral candidate graduated from the Istanbul Technical University’s School of Naval Architecture and Maritime Engineering before serving as general director of the Istanbul ferry company İstanbul Deniz Otobüsleri IDO, followed by stints as Turkey’s transport minister, presidential chief advisor, prime minister and finally parliamentary speaker.

Although Yıldırım is a confidant of Erdogan’s, his relationship with the president’s son-in-law, Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, has been less than cordial at times.

Erdogan twice delayed the announcement of Yıldırım’s candidacy due to disagreements between Erdogan’s family and that of Yıldırım over candidates for the various Istanbul districts.

Erdogan’s son Bilal also opposed Yıldırım’s candidacy for Istanbul’s top post.

Lots of talking before agreeing

Local media agreement of the list of candidates came only after lengthy negotiations between the two families.

“My father sent me to Istanbul to study higher education. I got my profession and became a father. I grow up in Kasimpasa district. I came here from the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. I will solve Kadikoy’s (a district in Istanbul) problems. Serving to Istanbul is serving to Turkey,” Yildirim said in his speech after Erdogan’s announcement.

People’s Alliance” will continue

Erdogan reaffirmed an earlier that electoral alliance between the AK Party and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), known as the People Alliance that was formed ahead of the June 24 presidential election earlier this year, will continue with the AK Party will supporting MHP candidates in Besiktas, Maltepe and Silivri districts of Istanbul.

The AK Party’s mayoral candidate for the capital city Ankara is Mehmet Ozhaseki, and for the country’s third largest city of Izmir, it is Nihat Zeybekci.

This is the list of AK Party’s Istanbul candidates announced by Erdoğan (districts followed by name):

Ataşehir  –  İsmail Erdem

Arnavutköy  –  Ahmet Haşim Baltacı

Adalar  –  Öztekin Vural

Avcılar  –  İbrahim Ulusoy

Bağcılar  –  Lokman Çağrıcı

Bakırköy  –  Mehmet Umur

Bahçelievler  –  Hakan Bahadır

Başakşehir  –  Yasin Kartoğlu

Bayrampaşa  –  Atila Aydıner

Beykoz  –  Murat Aydın

Beylikdüzü  –  Mustafa Necati Işık

Beyoğlu  –  Haydar Ali Yıldız

Büyükçekmece  –  Mevlüt Uysal

Çatalca  –  Mesut Üner

Çekmeköy  –  Ahmet Poyraz

Esenler  –  M. Tevfik Göksu

Esenyurt  –  Azmi Ekinci

Eyüpsultan  –  Deniz Köken

Fatih  –  Ergün Turan

Gaziosmanpaşa  –  Hasan Tahsin Usta

Güngören  –  Bünyamin Demir

Kadıköy  –  Özkan Özgül Yavuz

Kağıthane  –  Mevlüt Öztekin

Kartal  –  Ebubekir Taşyürek

Küçükçekmece  –  Temel Karadeniz

Pendik  –  Ahmet Cin

Sancaktepe  –  Şeyma Döğücü

Sarıyer  –  Salih Bayraktar

Sultanbeyli  –  Hüseyin Keskin

Sultangazi  –  Abdurrahman Dursun

Şile  –  İlhan Ocaklı

Tuzla  –  Şadi Yazıcı

Şişli  –  Nihal Yıldırım

Ümraniye  –  İsmet Yıldırım

Üsküdar  –  Hilmi Türkmen

Zeytinburnu  –  Ömer Arısoy

MHP candidates which AKP supports under the People’s Alliance:

Beşiktaş  –  Serkan Toper

Maltepe  –  Ahmet Baykan

Silivri  –  Volkan Yılmaz

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