news feature

Can social media change the course of Turkish politics?

With Istanbul’s mayoral election due to rerun in June, opposition candidates who receive little mainstream media coverage are taking to Twitter and YouTube to mobilise support, as Sebnem Arsu reports

Ekrem Imamoglu has become the new poster boy for Kemalist politics in Turkey
Ekrem Imamoglu has become the new poster boy for Kemalist politics in Turkey

You might be sad but do not lose your hope. We are here, do not ever give up!” said Ekrem Imamoglu. He is still in high spirits, even after his mandate as Istanbul’s newly appointed mayor was revoked last week by Turkey’s Supreme Election Board.

“Our path is a long one. Our excitement is at peak. We have our youth. We are the Turkish youth, thirsty for justice and fully committed to democracy. Nobody can stop this nation, its freedoms, its democracy.”

The heated speech by Imamoglu, of the opposition CHP, was aired live on social media outlets and reached a record number of more than 3 million viewers that night. Meanwhile, almost all national channels, owned by pro-government businesses, ignored the broadcast.

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