Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB), run by the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), on Jan. 14 released recordings of the moments when the propaganda videos portraying non-existent bus malfunctions, staged by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), were filmed.
Film gibi kumpası izleyin— İBB Haber (@ibbhabercomtr) January 14, 2024
AK Parti’nin, İstanbul’da bozuk olmayan bir özel halk otobüsünü şoförle anlaşıp bozukmuş gibi gösterdiği, sonra da set kurup çekim yaptığı ortaya çıktı. pic.twitter.com/Vgeo1kh5VS
The municipality had previously published the “broken lift and escalator on metro station” schemes filmed by pro-government media organs before the 2023 elections. Turkey will hold local elections on March 31 and opposition-led Ankara and Istanbul municipalities became the center of political rivalry.
In the video shared by İBB News, the municipality indicated that a regular public bus, which was not faulty, was made to look malfunctioning by collaborating with the driver on Jan. 12. Afterward, a set was arranged, and the filming took place.
The municipality stated, "It was determined that the public bus was far away from the duty station and that the driver of the bus entered 'malfunction' information into the system. It was determined that the bus was taken to the side of the road, and the film crew and materials were placed.”
The municipality underscored the shooting of the video was made for AKP as it can be understood “from the conversations inside the vehicle.”
In the footage, it was seen that a fog effect is used to show that the bus is out of order while passengers waiting at the back door try to push the bus.
In the 2019 local elections, the İYİ Party and pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) did not field mayoral candidates for Istanbul and Ankara metropolitan municipalities, making the race between the AKP and the CHP, which ended in a CHP victory.
Ekrem İmamoğlu won 54,22 percent of the votes and became Istanbul mayor after 25 years of control by the political Islamist parties.
AKP announced that deputy and former Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change Minister Murat Kurum would run against İmamoğlu in the upcoming local elections.
Contrary to the 2019 elections, other major parties did not announce their support for İmamoğlu.