The supporters of the People's Alliance's mayoral candidate for Istanbul, Binali Yıldırım, have launched a new campaign on social media in reference to his last name, which translates to "Thunderbolt" in English.
The hashtags #YıldırımÇarptı #YıldırımGeldi, means "thunderstruck," "thunderbolt arrived" along with the thunderbolt emoji were on millions of profiles and tweets including ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) politicians, ministers, parliamentarians and citizens' accounts.
For instance, Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank inserted the thunderbolt emoji on his Twitter profile while saying the "Thunderbolt arrived to my account too." Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum are other ministers who gave support to Yıldırım on social media by participating with the same hashtag.
Endorsing Yıldırım in the mayoral election for İstanbul, many supporters of the People's Alliance from the AK Party and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) activated the circulation of the hashtag on social media. In the March 31 elections, nearly 1.7 million voters in Istanbul did not go to the polls. Analyses show that most of the voters who did not vote on March 31 were AK Party supporters; thus, mobilization of these voters is t
he priority for the AK Party in its election campaign, considering a very close race between the two candidates expected to take place again.
According to the latest survey by ORC Research Center, Yıldırım is likely to obtain 47 percent of the votes while his rival Ekrem İmamoğlu, the candidate of Nation's Alliance remains at 46.7 percent. The same survey shows that there are 5.5 percent undecided voters in Istanbul, which is distributed as 2.6 percent among Yıldırım voters and 3.3 percent among İmamoğlu's supporters.