İstanbul mayor’s bus pelted during election campaign

Photo: Turkish Minute

Angry protesters on Sunday pelted the İstanbul mayor’s campaign bus with stones while he was touring Turkey’s conservative heartland ahead of next weekend’s general election, Agence France-Presse reported.

Images released by the office of Istanbul’s opposition mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu showed stones smashing the bus’s windows at a campaign stop in the eastern city of Erzurum.

İmamoğlu was delivering a speech from the bus’s roof when he was forced to go inside for cover and drive off.

Images on social media showed police using water cannons to disperse a group of people who ran after the bus throwing stones.

İmamoğlu called the event a provocation and demanded an explanation from local officials.

Turkish media reports said at least seven people received minor injuries.

The Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan controls the province.

The incident underscored the tensions surrounding next Sunday’s parliamentary and presidential ballot.

İmamoğlu is campaigning on behalf of secular opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.

The popular Istanbul mayor has been promised a vice-presidential post should Kılıçdaroğlu win.

Polls suggest that Kılıçdaroğlu and Erdoğan are locked in a dead heat a week from the vote.

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