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Who is Ekrem Imamoglu/ The politician who can take Erdogan's place

2024-04-03 13:37:00, Kosova & Bota CNA
Who is Ekrem Imamoglu/ The politician who can take Erdogan's place
Ekrem Imamoglu

The Republican People's Party (CHP) won local elections in Turkey, winning 37 percent of the vote nationwide. The country's biggest opposition party retained power in Turkey's key cities, a result seen as its biggest election victory since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan came to power two decades ago.

In particular, the newly elected mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu, is the man who has challenged Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 

It is interesting, as Imamoglu, who is predicted to have a bright political career, has followed similar steps as Turkey's current leader. In addition to running the country's largest city, the two men also come from the same Black Sea region and their careers have been hampered by court rulings. 

After winning a landslide victory in local elections in Turkey, where he became the mayor of Istanbul, many analysts believe that the 53-year-old Imamoglu is a potential president of Turkey.

Although they share a strong ability to attract voters, they differ when it comes to politics. Erdogan entered politics with an Islamist party with a pious vision, while Imamoglu is from the secular Republican People's Party (CHP), which he joined in 2008 and became mayor of Istanbul's Beylikduzu district 10 years ago.

Like Erdogan, Imamoglu also had problems with the authorities. After his initial victory in 2019, the court sentenced him to two and a half years in prison, imposing a political ban on insulting public officials.

The same experience had Erdogan, who was jailed for a short time in 1999 for reciting a song that the court judged as inciting religious hatred.

Last year, another court indicted Imamoglu on a bid-rigging charge that carries a sentence of three to seven years. 

Who is Ekrem Imamoglu/ The politician who can take Erdogan's place
Ekrem Imamoglu

He is known by the nickname "The Greek"

Although often referred to as "the Greek", Imamoglu is not Greek, but he was born in 1970 in the Greek village of Kastana, not far from the Black Sea province of Trabzon. Although he grew up far from Istanbul, Imamoglu says he spent a happy childhood among "lush vegetation, rough seas and stone streets".

He studied at Istanbul University and graduated in business administration in 1994, just as Erdogan became mayor and before starting his family's construction business. He is married and has three children.

Like her husband, Dilek Imamoglu is neither a typical "first lady" nor a conventional wife of a Turkish politician. She doesn't wear a headscarf in favor of dyed blonde hair, wears the latest fashions and has a tattoo on her arm.

She is very active when it comes to many social issues and participates in various activities aimed at raising awareness about people with disabilities, women's rights and children's education./CNA 

Who is Ekrem Imamoglu/ The politician who can take Erdogan's place
Ekrem Imamoglu

 

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