Transportation, poverty, refugees to top agenda of Istanbul's new mayor

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-29 02:59:39|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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ISTANBUL, June 28 (Xinhua) -- Istanbul's new mayor Ekrem Imamoglu said on Friday that traffic and transportation, urban poverty and refugees are among his top priorities that require urgent solutions.

At a press conference with foreign media outlets, Imamoglu pledged to work hard to solve these problems, open to all kinds of cooperation home and abroad.

Describing the traffic and transportation problem in the largest city of Turkey as "very acute and real," he said he would urgently deal with it.

He promised to take a series of measures to contribute to the households' budgets in efforts to curb rising poverty because of deteriorating economic conditions and high living costs.

Imamoglu called on other municipalities to show solidarity by offering discounts to their residents.

The new mayor also pledged a comprehensive solution to the issue of Syrian refugees, whose number has long exceeded 500,000 in Istanbul.

He will prioritize a "national policy" on refugees with a view to protecting and supporting mainly women and children.

"The refugee issue was mismanaged in Turkey," he said, blaming other countries for remaining silent on the "tragedy" in Syria and its environs.

"I am determined in carrying this issue to all over the world, drawing their attention and urging them to cooperate and show solidarity against the human tragedy there, rather than focusing on the oil of Syria," Imamoglu remarked.

"At the end of the day, it is the duty of the world countries to build democracy and peace in those lands as much as possible," he said, adding he would be open to all kinds of cooperation to create opportunities for a safe return of the refugees to their hometowns.

Imamoglu, candidate of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party, was certified as the mayor of Istanbul the previous day after he won the mayoral election held on June 23 by a clear margin.

He won the Istanbul mayorship in local elections held on March 31 by a slim margin and served as the mayor for fewer than one month, before he was disqualified by Turkey's top election board on May 6 as it annulled the result and called for a new election on June 23 over claims of irregularities by the ruling party.