President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it’s time to leave behind disputes over last month’s municipal elections, the clearest sign yet that he might be getting prepared to concede defeat in Istanbul.
“We must focus on our main agenda, primarily the economy and security, leaving the election debates behind,” Erdogan said in a series of Twitter posts. “It is the time to shake hands, hug each other and strengthen our unity .”
His comments come just hours after his first brief encounter with Ekrem Imamoglu of the opposition CHP, who assumed office as mayor of the nation’s largest city on Wednesday following the March 31 vote.
Erdogan’s taking over AKP applied to nullify the vote in Istanbul, citing widespread irregularities. Turkey’s High Election Board which has the energy to overturn the election is expected to begin deliberating over the objections on Monday, two lawmakers said earlier on Friday.
In place of getting bogged down with the results, Turkey should concentrate on making the best out of the next four and a half years it has without any elections, Erdogan said.