Ecstatic Istanbul residents spilled out into the streets of the ancient city to celebrate Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate Ekrem Imamoglu’s landmark victory in the city’s re-run election.
Imamoglu who broke a 35-year record in the Istanbul election with 54% of the vote versus AK Party (AKP) candidate Binali Yildirim’s 45% now challenges Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s 16 years long rule.
Since the ANKA News Agency declared Imamoglu’s victory with an unexpected 806767 vote difference, his supporters took to the streets of Istanbul districts such as Bakırkoy, Kadıkoy, Sarıyer, Beylikduzu and many other locations.
CHP voters carried Turkish flags and chanted in the support of Imamoglu in their peaceful election celebrations. The crowd gathered in front of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality carrying banners.
“The biggest president is Imamoglu,” read one of the banners.
“Everything is nice now,” read yet another in reference to Imamoglu’s election slogan,‘everything will be nice.’”
A massive crowd in front of Istanbul’s Beylikduzu Municipality as Imamoglu was formerly the area’s mayor. Many motorists hooted on the D-100 highway in Beylikduzu to celebrate the victory.
— Ekrem İmamoğlu (@ekrem_imamoglu) June 23, 2019
Large numbers of people who were ready in Beylikduzu Republic Square to listen Imamoglu’s victory speech, danced the halay and sang, accompanied by drums and clarion.
People interviewed by Turkish medyascop.tv in Sarachane where scores had gathered to celebrate Imamoglu’s victory, expressed joy at the outcome.
“I am so happy, I can’t describe the level of my happiness, I haven’t been sleeping for the last 17 days. I am going to sleep tonight,” an elderly woman told Medyascop.
Holidaymakers welcomed as hero
As Turkey enjoys the summer, many people interrupted their holidays and came back to Istanbul to vote. The most interesting celebration happened when Avsa Island (The Island known as popular holiday resort in the southern Sea of Marmara) residents welcomed holidaymakers who were returning from Istanbul after casting their votes, with heroic cheers.
The election victory was also celebrated with great enthusiasm in Beşiktaş. Thousands of Istanbul residents gathered in Besiktas square and chanted slogans.
“Give mandate to Imamoglu,” they chanted.
“This is the beginning of the fight to continue,” they chanted some more.
“Shoulder to shoulder against fascism,” the sang.
The crowd also sang Bella ciao (Goodbye beautiful), an Italian folk song that was adopted as an anthem of the anti-fascist resistance, as Imamoglu won against Erdogan and his Nationalist allies.