The ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) candidate for the Istanbul metropolitan municipality in the local elections, Binali Yıldırım, on Friday told reporters in Istanbul, "I promise to not only provide services but also to win the hearts of the people," Yıldırım.
He stressed that he will announce projects for Istanbul in the upcoming days and in relation to the projects for the province, an evaluation meeting will be held with the press on Jan. 7. Last week, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that the AK Party had nominated Yıldırım, the last prime minister of the country, as their candidate for Turkey's most populous city.
Yıldırım has long been regarded as the most prominent name for Istanbul, a city where the party that wins the elections is considered as having won Turkey, as he was able to gather public support and appreciation. His opponent in the mayoral race is from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), supported by the right-wing Good Party (İP), Ekrem İmamoğlu, who has been the mayor of Istanbul's Beylikdüzü district since 2014. Yıldırım stressed that starting on Jan. 15, he and district mayor candidates will announce projects for Istanbul and suggestions after considering the expectations of people living in the city.
In the March 31 elections, the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) will support the candidates of the AK Party in Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir in line with the People's Alliance formed for the June 24 elections.
Regarding the issue, MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli sent a notice to party members on Friday, calling on them to "avoid any remarks or evaluations that would cast shadows on the People's Alliance."
Bahçeli stressed that the two parties have reached agreements on 30 cities and some district municipalities in line with the People's Alliance. In 51 metropolitan and district municipalities, each party will run in elections with their own candidates.
He underscored that in regions where the candidates of the People's Alliance will run, the two parties will conduct joint coordinated efforts.