Istanbul mayor 'open to all positions to change Turkey in future'

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu has signalled that he is open to any position in the future for Turkey to go through a “change.” Asked whether he will run for the presidency, İmamoğlu said that although he currently has plans to continue as the mayor of the megacity, “it is not important who takes on which role tomorrow in this change.”

Duvar English

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu on Oct. 7 held a press conference in his hometown of Trabzon, during which he answered a question whether he would put forward his candidacy for the upcoming presidential elections.

İmamoğlu said that Turkey is in need of a “change” and that “it is not important who will take on which role in this change tomorrow.” “What is important is to prepare this change. In this sense, the two political parties, the locomotives [of Turkish politics], are doing their jobs in the best way,” İmamoğlu said, referring to the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and Good (İYİ) Party.

He said that currently he was “concentrating on being the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality mayor.” “Of course political leaders make their comments, map out their routes, put out their paths. There are two valuable voices that we have been hearing and listening at this point. One of them is CHP leader, my chairman Kemal Kılıçdaorğlu, and the other one is İYİ Party leader Meral Akşener, who took on a special role in this alliance process,” İmamoğlu said, referring to the Nation Alliance between the two parties.

İmamoğlu was in the Black Sea city of Trabzon to pay his condolences to the families of a former colleague and a former footballer, who both lost their lives due to the COVID-19.

Thousands of residents welcomed him at the Trabzon Airport, showing their love and respect for him.

İmamoğlu is the first politician to have defeated the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the race for the Istanbul Municipality in 2019, since 25 years ago. 

Amid discussions of the opposition about a presidential candidate, İmamoğlu is frequently asked when and if he will run for the country's presidency.

Istanbul Municipality receives approval to sell $353m worth eurobonds

Meanwhile, the Capital Markets Board of Turkey (SPK) has approved Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality’s application to sell $353 million worth of eurobonds, online news portal T24 reported on Oct. 8.

In 2020, the municipality issued eurobonds worth $580 million on a five-year maturity with 6.6 percent interest rate. Fitch Ratings had rated the eurobonds' risk level as BB-, while Moody's Investors Service had given them a B2 rating level.

İmamoğlu at the time announced that the funds would be used to finance four metro line projects in the city.

The CHP mayor has been saying that he is forced to seek loans from abroad as Turkey's state-owned banks closed their doors to the municipality.