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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  July 16, 2019 12:30am-1:01am BST

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about four democrats. mr trump accused the four congress—women of being anti—american and said if they weren't happy, they should leave the country. more than 100 people have died after days of heavy rains across south asia, with more than three million people forced out of their homes in parts of india. the state of bihar is worst affected with almost two million people displaced. and many of you are looking at this story on surgeons in london have successfully separated twin girls from pakistan who were born joined at the head. the surgery was so complex it was staged over three major operations lasting nearly 50 hours. the twins are now recovering. that's all. stay with bbc world news. now on bbc news, zeinab badawi speaks
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to the mayor of istanbul, ekrem imamoglu, on hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk, with me, zeinab badawi in istanbul. my guest today is the new mayor of the city, ekrem imamoglu. he dealt a massive setback to the ruling ak party when he defeated their candidate not once but twice when there was a rerun of the election. president erdogan once said whoever wins istanbul wins turkey. is ekrem imamoglu now the man to watch in turkish politics? mayor ekrem imamoglu, welcome to hardtalk. are you surprised that you're sitting here in the mayor's office? it is, after all, the first time in 25 years that your chp party has
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won this position. your party leader kemal kilicdaroglu said, "do not forget, today the victor is democracy," that's when you won, and he said, "the whole world that believes in democracy is proud of turkey." so the ruling ak party, president erdogan, your party are suggesting are good democrats, they didn't rig the election?
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what kind of precautions did you take? president erdogan has described you, despite your victory, as a lame—duck. he's right, isn't he? i tell you what he means by it. i mean, yes, you won 54% of the vote against your opponent...
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just let me finish saying this, yes, you won 54% of the vote. binali yildirim from the ak party, your opponent, only got 46%. however, the ruling ak party has 25 of the 39 districts in istanbul. they also have the majority of the seats on the municipal council, and of course overall control of the country. that's why you're a lame—duck.
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but your hands are tied, your hands are tied. you can't do everything you want to do because the ak party is still, as i explained, in this position of power. it doesn't look like that now, does it? because the constitution gives the president of turkey strong powers, and president erdogan has already moved to curb your powers. for example, in may, he said all mayors in turkey would no longer have the power to elect officials at companies linked to their municipalities, and these are a huge source of income and political patronage, of course, which is a huge diminution of your powers.
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the city and its budget has been in the hands of the ak party in one way or another, in its present and past form, for the past 25 years. it's a budget of about $9 billion. you said after your first 17 days in office, when you won the first run of the election on march the 31st, that you found a lot of evidence of squandering of public funds. what did you discover?
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but i have to say that the ak party has categorically denied claims that it's awarded lucrative contracts to businesses close to the government, and this is one of the things that has been circulating after you came to office. i just want to make sure that that denial is there. but you don't have much experience, do you, to deal with all these political manoeuvrings that you're going to have to get a grip of?
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i mean, you were, after all, just mayor of a district in istanbul, and you're going to really have to try to unpick this system of patronage and influence that's been built up over many years by the ak party. do you have experience? are you up to it? but you're dealing with the realities of what's going on. so, for example, canan kaftancioglu, who leads the istanbul branch of the chp party, is appearing in court over
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allegations dating back to five or six years, comments that she posted on social media which allegedly say that she criticised president erdogan and the state. i mean, you've condemned this, calling it a political threat, but it's going ahead. that's the kind of reality you have to deal with.
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are you going to speak up just on behalf of your party members, like kaftancioglu, or are you also going to extend your comments about the 132 journalists and media workers who are currently in prison across turkey, that's according to the turkish union ofjournalists.
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so you use her example as a way of exemplifying what you believe is this general concern aboutjournalists and media workers being imprisoned in turkey? so let's look at what you have to do here in istanbul. you're in your late 40s, you've come from a relatively comfortable background. you know, your family have a construction company. you had a very, very small restaurant, cafe, which sold kebabs and so on, so do you understand the fact that people are struggling in istanbul? that there's 25% youth unemployment, inflation obviously across turkey is extremely high. the turkish lira has seen its value drop dramatically. can you really empathise with those people who can't afford
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the cost of living? that's the strength of the ak party, which is why it's been so successful electorally. for example, one resident, ak party supporter in istanbul, dilber geckin, said, "we are poor and they, the ak party, help us. we are diehard supporters and we will never change." 46% of the vote for the ak party candidate to become mayor, that's very substantial. not irrelevant, that's
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the point i'm making. finding jobs is a key plank of your vision to improve life for the people in istanbul, but you have also talked about employment, linked to the presence of syrian refugees in istanbul.
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official figures say there are about 600,000 syrian refugees in istanbul, you say the figure is more like one million. this is what you said about the syrian refugees and their impact on istanbul. "a refugee must be isolated, in a camp if it's necessary, or he must be re—educated. some of our people lost theirjobs. employment rates have dropped down because of informally working refugees." why did you say that?
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do you regret the fact there have been clashes between turkish citizens and syrian refugees? do you regret that, because it's been happening in istanbul? do you regret that? of course, you're unhappy. mr mayor, i put it to you, you have said, for example, "you cannot read the sign boards in certain quarters. this is turkey, this is istanbul."
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you've made that kind of comment. and a turkish news website, ahva, has said this about you, "in dismissing a significant portion of his city's residents by this rhetorical exclusion, the mayor risks fanning the flames of social unrest." you have done that, haven't you?
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but what is the problem with signboards in arabic? the — you have no problem with the arabic language? why is it disturbing to have a sign in arabic in districts where there is large concentrations of syrian refugees? why is it disturbing to have a sign in arabic in districts where there is large concentrations of syrian refugees? you are a committed muslim.
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turkey is a predominantly muslim country and arabic is the language of the koran, you are a committed muslim, you pray, you fast, do you have a problem with arabic? your party, the chp, the republicans, established by mustafa kemal ataturkin
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the picture there, is very much a secular party. it gave rise to the secular constitution of turkey, and obviously there are many committed muslims, conservatives, traditionalists in turkey. how are you going to win over those who are proud of their islamic heritage practice? they don't necessarily want to see a very secular turkey.
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and as ates ilyas bassoy, chp strategist, says, said "we cannot change erdogan. we fight by changing ourselves." so, are you going to become more successful on the national stage by becoming more more like the ak party, more aware of your islamic heritage and perhaps toning down the secular elements of the chp?
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that's what you said, "we need to add a religious flavou r", and that's the point i'm making. it's also one that's been echoed by mustafa akyol, an independent writer. "the chp is finally getting religion. a political party that does not understand this fact is doomed." "religious flavour", what do you mean by that?
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you've got a big mountain to climb, you know, when you had this stunning victory in istanbul when everybody said ‘0h, look, this might be the beginning of the end for president president erdogan and the ak party.‘ but the chp hasn't had a majority government since 1950. in the election in 1999, your party failed to win a single seat. muharrem ince, who stood against president erdogan for the chp won just 30% of the vote compared to the 52%—52.5% that erdogan won. you've got a long way to go before you're relevant.
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the chp published a pamphlet called ‘radical love'. you have said during the campaign "a neighbour who doesn't think like you, just give them a hug, show them that walls can be torn down with love." "i like hugging, nobody will escape our hugs. " is that your platform to launch yourself on the national stage? go around hugging everybody?
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finally, 2023, the next presidential elections. could we see you stand as a candidate for your party, the chp? mayor ekrem imamoglu, thank you very much indeed for coming on hardtalk. thank you. thank you, you're welcome.
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hello there. will take a look at the weather picture through tuesday and i think there's going to be quite a bit of cloud in the sky first thing this morning. this is what's going on them at the moment, we got a stripe of cloud in the west. this is a weather front that's going to be pushing eastwards. as it does so, it's going to be all the time putting into an area of high pressure so putting into an area of high pressure so the front itself is going to be a weak affair, but it will provide the focus for some showers. now, for northern ireland and also for scotland, expect some showers running in here over the next few hours. so it might be worth taking a waterproof jacket next few hours. so it might be worth taking a waterproofjacket with you
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oi’ taking a waterproofjacket with you oran taking a waterproofjacket with you or an umbrella if you are heading outside in the next few hours. there is also the chance of some shower developments in north wales in north—west england. but otherwise across eastern england, eastern scotland, it's going to be a dry morning. now, through the rest of the day, those showers in northern ireland and scotland will continue on and off throughout the morning. as the heat of the day builds further southwards, we'll see further southwards, we'll see further shower development across wales, northern england, and perhaps the midlands as well. some of the heaviest showers could be across more eastern portions of england, perhaps across the pennines, somewhere like that. but towards the south—east it's going to be a fine, sunny afternoon, feeling warm and humid. temperatures up to 27, but more typically temperatures for most areas low 20s. looking at the low pressure towards the half of the week, an area of low pressure is going to be moving across the atlantic, ultimately pushing an area of rain in. turning wet for northern ireland and western scotland through the morning. a dry start for eastern
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scotla nd the morning. a dry start for eastern scotland and for england and wales on wednesday, with some morning sunshine. things will tend to cloud over as the day goes by, with rain getting into western fringes of england and wales and across into eastern scotland as well. now, to the east of our weather front, that's where the highest temperatures are going to be. we'll still be reaching bridges of about 25 for norwich and london, still feeling rather humid. but ultimately that weather front will push through. it's a cold front and will be bringing that fresh air right the way across the country at the time we get to thursday. so thursday is a day of rain clearing wallowed by some dry weather and sunshine for england and wales. showers moving into northern ireland and scotland and perhaps northern england as well. the showers quite widespread, heavy and likely to be thundery at times as well. temperatures high teens across northern areas. 23, 20 four degrees in the warmest spots further south. what about the end of the week? well, another area of low pressure looks set to move in, but there's a lot of uncertainty how far north and south this one is going. some models it north, some of it right away across southern parts of england and wales. either way, it looks like it is going to be u nsettled looks like it is going to be unsettled for some of us at least through friday and on into the weekend, with rain at times. that's
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your latest weather
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welcome to newsday. i'm kasia madera in london. the headlines: president trump refuses to back down over his racist remarks about four democratic congresswomen. you can say what you want, but get a list of all of the statements they've made. and all i'm saying is that if they're not happy here, they can leave. despite the occupant of the white house's attempts to marginalise us and to silence us, please know that we are more than four people. the twins from pakistan born joined at the head. we have exclusive access as surgeons in london start to separate the sisters. i'm rico hizon in singapore. also on the programme: floodwaters force millions from their homes across northern


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