Mar 31 2019 The election campaigns before the vote were highly polarizing with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other officials using hostile rhetoric toward opposition candidates. Election campaigns in Turkey have been highly polarized with officials, especially President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, using hostile rhetoric toward opposition candidates. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has cast his vote in Istanbul for key municipal elections that will test his popularity amid a sharp economic downturn. Erdogan named former Prime Minister Binali Yildirim to run against opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu in the Istanbul mayor's race. Early results showed the opposition taking control of Mediterranean coastal cities from Erdogan's alliance and making inroads in the capital Ankara and surrounding areas.