Skip to main content
ALM Special

Turkey Elections: Violence, detentions mark last stretch to unseat Erdogan

Turkish President Erdogan accused the opposition of provocation after an attack on a prominent opposition figure.
Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu delivers a speech for his supporters during a protest in front of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.

ANKARA — Turkish authorities on Monday detained several people after a prominent opposition figure was pelted with stones over the weekend and was also later accused of provoking the attack, with tensions rising in the country and only days to go until critical elections.

Turkey’s Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said that several people were detained after the main opposition’s Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu and his supporters were hit with stones during a rally in a nationalist and conservative stronghold on Sunday. Turkey’s private Demiroren News Agency (DHA) reported that more than 15 people were wounded in the attack. Citing police sources, DHA said 15 people were detained after the attack.

The attack on Imamoglu further elevated tensions in the country, which is in its final stretch ahead of the crucial May 14 presidential and parliamentary elections to determine whether Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will extend his authoritarian rule for another term. 

Imamoglu was forced to cut his rally short when stones were thrown at him as he rallied his supporters in Turkey’s eastern province of Erzurum. Footage from the scene showed Imamoglu’s aides trying to shield the mayor from stones with umbrellas as police largely stood by. 

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.