Bloomberg has chosen Ekrem İmamoğlu, the mayor of İstanbul who won the race for Turkey’s biggest city from the ranks of the country’s main opposition party, for its top 50 list of 2019.
The list includes people from a variety of backgrounds from finance to fashion and technology to trade who Bloomberg considered to have defined 2019.
“His election victory was a stinging indictment of President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan’s economic policies,” Bloomberg wrote.
“Erdogan’s party had already lost Turkey’s capital, Ankara, and other big cities in March balloting as inflation, unemployment, and a plunging lira took their toll. But he refused to concede defeat in Istanbul, crying voter fraud after Imamoglu won by 14,000 votes.
“After Turkey’s top election board made the controversial decision to rerun the race, Imamoglu increased his margin of victory to 800,000 votes.”
İmamoğlu famously ran on a campaign slogan “Everything Is Going to Be Great.” His campaign promises focused on eliminating waste and debt as well as alleged extravagant spending and corruption by the previous municipal administrations led by Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
“If Imamoglu does well, the president could have a challenger on his hands in 2023: The mayoralty was the springboard for Erdogan’s own national political career,” Bloomberg said, referring to Erdoğan’s mandate as İstanbul mayor in the ’90s which allowed him to come to public prominence.