Ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) İstanbul mayoral candidate Binali Yıldırım has announced that he agrees in principle to face his rival, Ekrem İmamoğlu, in a televised debate, the Diken news website reported on Sunday.
Yıldırım is running against İmamoğlu, from the ranks of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), in a re-run of the İstanbul mayoral election slated for June 23.
“Our campaign manager will get in touch with people in the CHP to lay the groundwork for it,” Yıldırım told NTV.
Turkish politicians used to debate on TV prior to elections until AKP leader and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan put an end to the tradition in 2002.
If it takes place, the televised debate between İmamoğlu and Yıldırım will be the first of its kind in 17 years, journalist Fatih Altaylı noted.