Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu on May 29 spoke for the first time after President Erdoğan’s victory in the second round of the presidential election.
Kimse endişe etmesin, her şey yeniden başlıyor. Unutmayın; "Değişmeyen tek şey değişimdir." https://t.co/r0fMFhcsuM— Ekrem İmamoğlu (@ekrem_imamoglu) May 29, 2023
In a video message, İmamoğlu said he is aware that millions of people are disappointed with the result of the election but they should not be discouraged. According to unofficial results, Erdoğan garnered more than 27 million votes, more than 52%, whereas CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu garnered more than 25 million votes.
İmamoğlu said “We are a nation that can achieve many great things in a short time. We will succeed again. A similar disappointment occurred five years ago (2018 presidential and general elections). But after only nine months we had successful results in local elections (in 2019). We succeeded together. Don't worry, it’s all starting over. Remember, change is the only constant.”
He also said “We will never expect change in every field and in every environment, and we will never expect different results by doing the same things. From now on, we will continue to fight to win all hearts.”
“Great Atatürk says ‘There are no hopeless situations, there are hopeless people.’ There are millions of hopeful democracy soldiers in Turkey. In this election campaign, I have witnessed their faithful, resilient and never giving up struggles many times. I invite you, especially the soldiers of democracy, dear children, those dear young people, mothers and all Istanbulites to the 570th conquest events we organized today. We will talk about what we will do and change. We will share together how to work more to conquer all hearts. Believe me, we have a long way to go, we are young, we have full faith and trust me. Everything will be very beautiful,” he added.
İmamoğlu was also the vice presidential candidate of Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu alongside six other leaders.
After Kılıçdaroğlu's loss, the opposition voters has split into two camps. One camp argues that İmamoğlu or CHP Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş should have been the candidate at the first place. This camp also demands Kılıçdaroğlu's resignation from CHP leadership.
The other camp argues that this was the maximum vote an opposition candidate could have gotten against Erdoğan who have used all kinds of state resources and given very bare minimum of opportunities to the opposition.