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Opposition rallies around Istanbul mayor as Turks reel from conviction

Polls find that most Turks, including a sizable number of supporters of the ruling party and its nationalist ally, see the prison sentence and political ban against Istanbul’s charismatic mayor as unfair and politically motivated. 
Turkey's main opposition party chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu and Ekrem Imamoglu, the mayor of Istanbul, meet in an attempt to dispel rumors of rivalry over which of them will become the presidential candidate.

Turkey’s main opposition party rebuffed rumors of a divide between its cautious leader and the high-flying mayor of Istanbul on who should challenge President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the presidential race next year. 

“We are like father and son,” chair Kemal Kilicdaroglu said Tuesday at the meeting of his social democrat Republican People’s Party (CHP) as he pointed to Ekrem Imamoglu, Istanbul’s popular mayor. Imamoglu traveled to the Turkish capital to meet him and participate in the party’s parliamentary faction meeting. “Imamoglu is not only the son of this party but my own. Therefore, it is my — and our — duty to stand behind him,” he pledged. 

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