Close this search box.

Who is Ekrem Imamoglu, the man who could end President Erdogan’s undefeated reign in Turkey?

Who is Ekrem Imamoglu, the man who could end President Erdogan’s undefeated reign in Turkey?

Newly re-elected Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu has emerged as a significant challenger to the long-standing reign of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. However, in some aspects, Imamoglu’s trajectory mirrors that of Erdogan, who himself served as Istanbul’s mayor in the 1990s.

Imamoglu, from Istanbul’s Republican People’s Party (CHP), secured victory in the city by defeating the ruling AK Party candidate, former Environment and Urbanisation Minister Murat Kurum, with just over 51 percent of the vote. This defeat was perceived as a personal setback for Erdogan, who was born and raised in Istanbul and previously served as its mayor in the 1990s. Interestingly, Erdogan and Imamoglu first crossed paths in the mid-90s at a meatball restaurant run by a young Imamoglu, and now find themselves as rivals on the national stage. Imamoglu, aged 53, is viewed by many analysts as a potential future president.

Imamoglu’s trajectory parallels that of Erdogan in many ways. Both leaders have family roots in the eastern Black Sea region of Turkey and have faced obstacles from Turkey’s courts throughout their political careers. Additionally, both were avid football players in their youth. Imamoglu, who studied business administration at Istanbul University, entered his family’s construction business before venturing into politics.

While Imamoglu and Erdogan share an ability to connect with voters, their political ideologies diverge significantly. Imamoglu, a congenial former businessman, identifies with the staunchly secularist Republican People’s Party (CHP). In contrast, Erdogan, who entered politics with an Islamist party, has implemented his pious vision, reshaping Turkey’s secular state since coming into power in 2002.

Imamoglu’s success lies in his ability to transcend the traditional support base of the CHP and appeal to more conservative voters. This was evident in the 2019 mayoral elections when he delivered Erdogan’s AK Party its most significant defeat in two decades. Despite facing legal challenges, Imamoglu emerged victorious in a re-run election, solidifying his position as a formidable opponent to Erdogan’s rule.

Imamoglu’s victory is perceived as a significant milestone for the opposition, signaling a potential shift in the country’s political landscape. While Erdogan has secured re-election as president despite economic challenges, Imamoglu’s continued rise poses a new challenge for the ruling party.

Although Imamoglu did not contest the 2023 presidential race, he remains a strong potential challenger for the 2028 elections. His success represents not only a political victory but also a step towards restoring democracy and justice in Turkey, according to his supporters.

Who is Ekrem Imamoglu, the man who could end President Erdogan’s undefeated reign in Turkey?

The 12th buy local Summit and expo

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *