CHP, İYİ Party spat over election campaign in Istanbul

İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener has accused Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu from the Republican People's Party (CHP) of not allowing her party's banners to promote the İYİ Party's candidate for the upcoming municipal polls.

"The one who is trying to prevent our campaign is not Beştepe but Saraçhane," Akşener said during her party's parliamentary group meeting on Jan. 31. Beştepe is a district in the capital Ankara, where the presidency is located, while Saraçhane is an Istanbul district that hosts the office of the Istanbul Mayor.

"It seems that the main opposition party is very much disturbed by us. Some people want us to hold our election campaign without hanging billboards," she said. The CHP and the İYİ Party were allies during the presidential and parliamentary polls, but the defeat has resulted in a sharp split between the two parties.

Akşener argued that similar preventions were also observed in Ankara and İzmir, where the CHP mayors are in power.

İmamoğlu and CHP Chairman Özgür Özel denied the allegations by Akşener in separate statements. "It must be her who knows best that we will never try to impose such a restriction," İmamoğlu said, recalling that these billboards were being rented through private companies.

Özel, for his part, stressed that he was very astonished by Akşener's claims. "There are two scenarios: Mrs. Chairwoman has either been misled or she wants to begin a spat with us. I will not fight with her as this won't bring benefit to either side," he stated.

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