A total of $818,000 was collected on the first day of a fundraising drive launched by Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) to finance the election campaign of Ekrem İmamoğlu, the party’s mayoral candidate for İstanbul, according to journalist Deniz Zeyrek.
İmamoğlu will run again in the İstanbul mayoral election on June 23 since he was stripped of his title after winning the March 31 local election.
Last Thursday the CHP announced that it was launching a drive to meet the expenses of İmamoğlu’s election campaign.
Sözcü daily journalist Zeyrek wrote on Monday that he asked CHP Deputy Chairman Bülent Kuşoğlu how much money had been raised last Friday, the first day of the drive.
Kuşoğlu said around TL 5 million [$818,000] was collected, noting that not only Turks in Turkey but also those abroad are extending their support to the fundraising drive.
“This campaign is not only about making a donation. It has turned into a mobilization of people to show their support for democracy. The messages that come [from people supporting the campaign] fill one’s eyes with tears,” Kuşoğlu told the journalist.
In a controversial decision on May 6, the Supreme Election Board (YSK) decided to hold a new mayoral election in İstanbul.
The YSK made its 7-4 decision due to allegations of electoral fraud and irregularities after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost the race in İstanbul.
Last Thursday Kuşoğlu announced that the maximum donation for İmamoğlu would be TL 20 ($3.20). Kuşoğlu also explained that the state treasury does not provide any financial assistance to political parties in elections that are held again.
The CHP’s fundraising drive was reportedly inspired by some voters who transferred money to the CHP’s bank account with the comment, “Everything is going to be OK,” İmamoğlu’s new campaign slogan after the YSK decision.