President Erdoğan supports former environment minister in taking back Istanbul

President Erdoğan supports former environment minister in taking back Istanbul

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday entrusted the former environment minister with running for mayor in Istanbul, entrusting him with revenge for the Turkish leader's worst political defeat in his 20 years of rule.

Murat Krum will represent President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's conservative Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) in local elections on March 31, where control of Turkey's major cities will be contested.

A watershed poll in 2019 saw the secular opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) regain control of Istanbul for the first time since President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ruled the city as mayor in the 1990s.

The vote allowed the opposition to take back the capital Ankara and retain power in the Aegean port city of Izmir.

The rebels' takeover of Turkey's three main cities has shattered President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's image of political invincibility and highlighted growing levels of resentment against his hegemonic rule.

The president's rivals have campaigned against perceived corruption and widespread political repression following a 2016 coup attempt.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tried to bounce back last year with a tough re-election campaign in the midst of an economic crisis with annual inflation rates exceeding 85%.

Since then, his goal has been to take back Istanbul. Istanbul is the city where he grew up playing street soccer and launched his political career as a self-proclaimed defender of Turkey's devout Muslims and poor people.

“We will not stop until March 31st, we will keep moving forward,” Erdogan told supporters during a party congress in Istanbul.

“We are running for solutions, not excuses, and we stand before the nation with candidates who act with humility, not arrogance.”


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