Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu’s wife Dilek İmamoğlu has defended making a victory sign at an election rally in the eastern province of Van.
İmamoğlu told the YouTube program Katarsis that “We are losing (in the elections) because we are not acting as we are. We are restricting some things from ourselves in order not to allow others to speak (badly about us).”
“In fact, we lose because we live behind closed doors. The victory sign I made says we are a whole, we will succeed together, this struggle is the struggle of all of us. So it's a universally accepted sign of victory. It has no other meaning. Whatever you do, everything you do will definitely be interpreted otherwise because that's how they (the government) do politics. Why act like them if we're trying to change that? We are coming for a more transparent administration. Otherwise, our children and their children will pay the price. This is our country, we're not going anywhere,” she added.
Dilek İmamoğlu made a victory sign during the opposition’s election rally in the eastern Van province on May 2.
Then-Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu claimed that Ekrem İmamoğlu and Dilek İmamoğlu had conducted the propaganda of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) by “making the victory sign.”
“This Mr. Kemal held a rally in Van. Ekrem İmamoğlu also participated in the meeting with his wife. They have waved the flag of the (Peoples’ Democratic Party) HDP. They have made the victory sign done by the PKK. There were 11,000 people at the (rally) square. Ten thousand people shouted ‘Freedom for Selo,’” Soylu said, referring to jailed former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş.
“They have gathered HDP members there. They have gathered their own party members. And this was not enough; they shouted slogans of ‘Tooth for a tooth, blood for blood, (jailed PKK leader) Öcalan.’ It is very explicit what will happen if these (opposition) comes to rulership, God forbid,” Soylu said, utilizing the classical rhetoric of terror accusations in an attempt to attract nationalist votes.