Skip to main content

Erdogan names ex-minister as his party's Istanbul mayor candidate

1 min

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday named former environment minister Murat Kurum as the ruling AK Party's candidate in Istanbul's mayoral election in March, bidding to win back control of Turkey's largest city.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan announces Murat Kurum as his ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) candidate in Istanbul's mayoral election in March, in Istanbul, Turkey January 7, 2024. Reuters/Murad Sezer

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday named former environment minister Murat Kurum as the ruling AK Party's candidate in Istanbul's mayoral election in March, bidding to win back control of Turkey's largest city.

Kurum will stand against incumbent Ekrem Imamoglu from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), whose election as mayor in 2019 ended 25 years of rule in Istanbul by the AKP and its Islamist predecessors.

Last May, Erdogan won re-election as president while his AKP and its nationalist allies took a majority in parliamentary elections, illustrating the challenge faced by the opposition in the nationwide municipal elections on March 31.

"Working shoulder to shoulder, we will definitely bring Istanbul out of the interregnum of the last five years," Erdogan said at a ceremony to announce the candidacy of Kurum and other AKP candidates in the elections.

Kurum, 47, was environment and urbanisation minister from July 2018 until last June, leaving the post after the elections. He was then elected as a member of parliament for Istanbul, Turkey's commercial hub and a city of 16 million, or some 20% of the population.

Kurum was one of the most prominent figures in the government's response to the devastating earthquakes that shook southern Turkey last February, killing more than 50,000 people.

He studied engineering at university and worked in Turkey's mass housing administration before his time as a minister.

Erdogan announced his party's candidates for more than two dozen of the country's municipalities on Sunday and was expected to announce its candidates for the others, including the capital Ankara, later this month.

Reporting by Daren Butler

Related

Gaza

US carries out first airdrop of aid into Gaza

The U.S. military on Saturday carried out its first airdrop of aid into Gaza, after the deaths of Palestinians queuing for food underlined the growing humanitarian catastrophe in the crowded coastal enclave after months of Israeli military operations.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Mena banner 4

To make this website run properly and to improve your experience, we use cookies. For more detailed information, please check our Cookie Policy.

  • Necessary cookies enable core functionality. The website cannot function properly without these cookies, and can only be disabled by changing your browser preferences.