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Pontos-Born Imamoglu Wins Race for Istanbul

Turkey’s ruling party has lost control of Istanbul after a re-run of the city’s mayoral election, latest results show.

The candidate for the main opposition party, Ekrem Imamoglu, won 54 percent of the vote with nearly all ballots counted.

He won a surprise victory in March which was annulled after the ruling AK party complained of irregularities.

His opponent, ex-PM Binali Yildirim, has conceded. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan congratulated the winner.

“I congratulate Ekrem Imamoglu who has won the election based on preliminary results,” he tweeted.

But the result is being seen as a major setback for Mr Erdogan, who has previously said that “whoever wins Istanbul, wins Turkey”.

Imamoglu was born in Trabzon in Pontos in 1970. He is believed to speak the Pontian dialect and has maintained close links with Pontians in the town of Giannitsa, in northern Greece.

On May 10, 2016, he uploaded videos to his Facebook page where he is seen taking part in the festivities of the town’s Pontian community, where he is also spotted dancing traditional dances of the region.

Yenice'de Yunan dostlarla horon…

Posted by Ekrem İmamoğlu on Tuesday, May 10, 2016

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