Istanbul is the most important city in Turkey, and not only in regard to history and natural beauties. Almost one fifth of the country’s population live in Istanbul. The significance of Istanbul in Turkish economy is incomparable to any other city.
The phrase used for Istanbul at a time, “paved with gold” may have lost its relevance today, but Istanbul is still the city of arrival for the ambitious and adventurous, or for those who seek a better living standard.
Political significance of Istanbul
The importance of Istanbul in the eyes of politicians is indisputable. People in the know have come to cite this maxim recently: “Who loses Istanbul loses Turkey.” It is open to discussion to what extent this maxim holds the truth. But, as the political story of Tayyip Erdoğan and AKP (the ruling party, Justice and Development Party -TN) points out too, the saying “Who wins Istanbul wins Turkey” is true.
Tayyip Erdoğan won the municipal election in Istanbul, and this paved the way for him to presidency.
AK Parti’s insistence on the annulment of the election for the Istanbul metropolitan municipality on 31 March and repetition of the election is not surprising at all.