Turkey’s Erdogan’s Opposition Candidate Pelted With Stones

Ahead of Turkey’s presidential election, Recep Tayyip Erdogan‘s opposition party leader was targeted with stones during a rally. 

What Happened: This incident prompted Ekrem Imamoglu, the mayor of Istanbul and a presidential candidate in the upcoming general elections, to halt his campaign speech just a week before the final voting day, reported Bloomberg.

The mayor blamed the attack in the city of Erzurum on President Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which manages the local municipality and the police. Imamoglu’s CHP party said around 12 individuals, including children, were injured during the incident.

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Erzurum municipality brought public buses to the square where Imamoglu had planned to hold his rally on Sunday. “When we arrived, stones rained down from everywhere,” he said. 

“None of the police moved a muscle.”

Meanwhile, other opposition leaders also raised security concerns before the election. “Bringing change to the country has a price. We are all ready to pay it,” Temel Karamollaoglu, leader of the Felicity Party, condemned the attack as a provocation.

Why It Matters: Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections are set to be held on May 14. The incumbent Turkish president, who has led the country for 20 years, is confronted with the greatest challenge in his reign after the erosion of his popularity during a cost-of-living crisis.

The Middle-Eastern nation is grappling with soaring inflation and is reeling from twin earthquakes that have left 50,000 people dead.

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