The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is expected to increase efforts for the election campaign after the Ramadan Bayram, also known as Eid al-Fitr, for redo elections slated for June 23 under scope of the party's aim to reach the maximum level of voters before the polls.
While the AK Party election campaign has been focusing on young people, voters from specific regions in Turkey and Kurdish citizens, its partner in the People's Alliance, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), has continued meetings with provincial party organizations within the scope of the party's "fellow townsmen" strategy.
As part of the road map, AK Party's local organization heads are holding face-to-face meetings with all 350 electorates of each ballot box with the meetings carried out in the party buildings, explaining them why the polls are being renewed and noting their demands.
The Supreme Election Council (YSK) decided to annul the March 31 mayoral elections in Istanbul due to irregularities and unlawfulness. The YSK's decision for the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality elections came down to a vote of four members against seven in favor on May 6. The renewed election will be held on June 23.
The AK Party also has informed the voters on the projects of its candidate, Binali Yıldırım, who summarized last week his promises three main themes: Families, youth and students, and employment.
As part of his election pledges for the youth, Yıldırım promised last week for the city's teens, a special city card that would allow them to enjoy the city's museums free of charge as well as 10 gigabytes of mobile internet services per month. He explained that the card would allow teens to enjoy city theaters for free as well, and the municipality will provide financial aid for the stationary needs of students of low-income families. The former prime minsiter also promised to make a 10 percent discount on natural gas prices, following the recent 46 percent discount on water bills and support for low-income families for their electric and gas bills.
The MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli, on the other hand, has continued meetings with provincial party organizations within the scope of the party's fellow townsmen strategy.
He recently invited 50 provincial party organization chairs to the MHP's headquarters, expected to assign provincial party organization chairs in Istanbul to convince their fellow townsmen to go to the polls and cast their votes in favor of Yıldırım.
Previously, Bahçeli organized meetings with other 31 provincial party organization chairs and directed them to go to Istanbul to mobilize voters.
The AK Party's other priority is to convince voters who did not participate in the elections to vote. In the March 31 elections, approximately 1.5 million voters did not go to the polls in Istanbul. It is estimated that almost 900,000 of these voters actually are part of the AK Party's electoral base.
Yıldırım also announced on Sunday that the there will be a TV program with his competitor, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) candidate, Ekrem İmamoğlu, saying that two parties will determine a day after the Ramadan Bayram.