Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has slammed top business organization the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) due to its criticism of a decision by the country’s top election board which ruled for re-run of mayoral elections in İstanbul, telling the group to know its place.
The Supreme Election Board (YSK) made the controversial decision on Monday due to allegations of electoral fraud and irregularities after Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost the race in İstanbul in local elections held on March 31.
Following the YSK decision, TÜSİAD expressed concern about returning to an election environment at a time when it said the country needs extensive economic and democratic reforms.
Speaking at his party’s parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday, Erdoğan said some businessmen have been making “weird” statements following the YSK decision, noting that their attitude will not bring normalization in the country but rather a lack thereof.
“You are acting inappropriately. Everyone should know their place,” Erdoğan told TÜSİAD.
In his speech Erdoğan also claimed İstanbul’s mayoral election was affected by “organized crime and serious corruption,” adding that re-holding the vote was the “best step” for the country.
“We see this decision as the best step that will strengthen our will to solve problems within the framework of democracy and the law,” he said.
He insisted there was “illegality” in the vote and said a re-run would represent “an important step toward strengthening our democracy”.
In the meantime, Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya has been assigned acting mayor of the city until the new vote, since Ekrem İmamoğlu, the candidate from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) who won the election in İstanbul, has been stripped of his title.