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Istanbul Candidates Face Off in First Turkish Debate in 17 Years

  • Yildrim, Imamoglu spar over events on March 31 election night
  • Both pledge to help the economy, Imamoglu targets state waste
People watch the televised debate between Binali Yildirim and Ekrem Imamoglu on June 16.
People watch the televised debate between Binali Yildirim and Ekrem Imamoglu on June 16.Photographer: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

The top two candidates to be Istanbul’s mayor faced off in the nation’s first televised election debate in 17 years on Sunday, trading charges over the outcome of an earlier vote and offering different approaches to economic growth.

Binali Yildirim, the candidate of the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, and Ekrem Imamoglu, of the Republican People’s Party, or CHP, debated for about three hours ahead of the June 23 rerun of a vote ordered by an election body.