Istanbul mayoral candidate from the main opposition party Ekrem Imamoglu has released a full version of a video that initially showed him appearing to be slapping a youth while on his election campaign.
Ironically in the original video, Imamoglu was trying to deny another allegation which was questioned by the youth by urging the youth to watch a full-version video.
Imamoglu from the main opposition Republican People’s (CHP) published the original video showing that he did not slap a restaurant employee in contrast to the allegation raised by some pro-government media outlets.
Imamoglu was running an election rally, visiting voters on the field when he was subjected to criticism by a restaurant employee regarding his message to terrorist organizations given during a sit-in interview a day earlier.
Imamoglu’s terror-related message had been distorted by a senior from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Elif Sahin Keles who allegedly cut the video.
“Let us govern Turkey together,” the edited video shows as if Imamoglu was saying to terrorist organizations.
AKP’s Keles later posted the montage video on social media, where it was quickly shared among pro-government accounts.
Imamoglu urged the youth to watch the original video via a smartphone. The employee, however, did not want to watch and Imamoglu told him not to act snobbish. While walking away, Imamoglu patted the employee’s cheek, which the opposition on social media said was meant as a friendly gesture.
Pro-government daily Sabah first reported the dialogue as if Imamoglu had slapped and scolded the voter, yet later deleted the tweet and said there had been physical contact between them.
Daily Star said Imamoglu was playing the victim by showing an edited version of the video, adding that the CHP’s candidate had lightly slapped the man while leaving the restaurant.
Imamoglu was described as disrespectful and aggressive by daily Takvim regarding the incident.
Following CHP’s narrowly-won mayorship on March 31, the Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) decided, at the request of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to rerun the mayoral election in Istanbul on the grounds that some ballot box officials were not public servants as required by regulations. The rerun is scheduled by the YSK to take place on June 23.