Turkey elections: Opposition campaign bus pelted with stones

The campaign bus of Ekrem Imamoglu, the mayor of Istanbul, was attacked while he gave a speech

The bus in which Istanbul's Mayor was commuting; the image shows a broken window and shards of glass (DW)
The bus in which Istanbul's Mayor was commuting; the image shows a broken window and shards of glass (DW)


Turkish opposition politician Ekrem Imamoglu said on Sunday at least nine were injured as a group of people threw stones at his campaign bus in the eastern city of Erzurum.

Imamoglu, who is the mayor of Istanbul, is campaigning on behalf of Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the secular opposition leader who is President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's main challenger.

He would become a vice president in case of Kilicdaroglu's victory in next week's elections.

What happened in Erzurum?

Imamoglu's office released images showing the shattered windows of the bus, on which he was delivering a speech that he had to cut short.

His office said he was forced to go inside the bus for cover and drive off, adding that the people injured were part of the crowd.

"We are leaving for your safety," Imamoglu told his supporters.

The popular opposition politician also said he would file a criminal complaint against the governor of the conservative stronghold city and the police chief, accusing them of allowing the violence.

"Erzurum's governor called and told me that seven people were wounded. I spoke to nine wounded people at this time," he later said in a tweet.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, a senior member of Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP), accused Imamgolu of provocation. "Ekrem Imamoglu, who calls the people in Erzurum provocateurs, is himself a provocateur," he said.

Erdogan vows to triumph over 'pro-LGBT' opposition

Meanwhile in Istanbul, Erdogan held a rally in which he again pushed the rhetoric that him and his allies would protect "family values" against the "pro-LGBT" opposition.

"[The AKP] and other parties in our alliance would never be pro-LGBT, because family is sacred to us. We will bury those pro-LGBT in the ballot box," he told the crowd.

The president also took a stab at his rival Kilicdaroglu, accusing him of being "hand in hand with terrorists." Erdogan has claimed that Kilicdaroglu was getting support from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which Turkey, the US and the EU have designated a terrorist group.

The opposition denies the accusation, and has previously denounced such claims as divisive and dangerous campaign rhetoric.

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