İYİP mayoral candidate vows to ban all non-Turkish signage in Istanbul if elected

Buğra Kavuncu, nationalist opposition İYİ (Good) Party’s mayoral candidate for Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, promised to ban all non-Turkish signs and nameplates in the megacity if he were elected.

Duvar English

Turkey’s nationalist opposition İYİ (Good) Party’s mayoral candidate for Istanbul, Buğra Kavuncu, has promised he would ban all signage in languages other than Turkish in “one fell swoop.”

Kavuncu was a guest on a talk show broadcast on the online platform GAİN and answered questions from the audience about the upcoming local elections on March 31. 

The preview of the episode shows one audience member asking what Kavuncu planned to do about the refugee population in Istanbul. "The refugees can open jewelry stores, bodegas, döner shops..." complained the audience member.

“When I become mayor, I will not allow any nameplates in languages other than Turkish,” the candidate said. “I will remove them all in one day. You will not find any signs in any foreign language,” he continued. 

He also commented that the current Istanbul municipality under the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) was “well-intentioned,” but there were things he was not content about.

Kavuncu’s sensitivity about all-Turkish signage is shared by Tanju Özkan, the CHP mayor of Bolu province in the Marmara region. 

The xenophobic mayor had previously removed the nameplate of a cultural center for Afghan refugees, saying he would not allow any such signs in Bolu. 

Özcan had also drawn criticism in 2021 with his xenophobic policy proposals against the Syrian refugees residing in Bolu. He is running again as CHP's mayoral candidate in the province for the upcoming local elections.