Turkey rapporteur for the European Parliament (EP) Nacho Sanchez Amor visited Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu in his office on Jan. 20 and congratulated him “twice” for his election success.
“I congratulate you twice, because you won the election twice. This process means a new political expansion for your country. And you, in an unexpected way, became a political figure,” Amor told İmamoğlu during their meeting.
İmamoğlu, of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), won the race by a slim margin in the first election on March 31, 2019, when Turkey held local elections. But İmamoğlu spent just 18 days in office.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) party argued that irregularities had marred the voting process, leading the Supreme Election Council to nullify the results in May.
In the second election held on July 23, 2019, İmamoğlu garnered more than 54 percent of the votes, breaking the record set by former Istanbul Mayor Bedrettin Dalan 35 years ago.
On Jan. 20, Amor paid a congratulatory visit to İmamoğlu, saying the city of Istanbul should collaborate other European cities and he wanted to be of an assistance in this process.
İmamoğlu likewise emphasized his willingness to improve cooperation with other local administrations in Europe.
“I want you to know that we are in an effort to form a very productive and warm relation with everyone who want to forge a bond with us, especially the local administration executives and mayors,” İmamoğlu said, emphasizing that local administrations will be the driving force in the upcoming years to “ripen and even define the relations between the countries and societies.” “The real job will really fall on the local administrations,” he said.
CHP Istanbul provincial chair Canan Kaftancıoğlu was also present at the meeting.
Following the meeting, İmamoğlu posted photos of the meeting on Twitter, saying: “Together with Ms. @ccanannnnn, Head of the CHP’s Istanbul Branch, I expressed our willingness to form fruitful partnerships with all mayors and local governments across #Europe.”