İsmail Saymaz wrote: Walking around Rize and walking to Ankara

“I wonder what’s going on? anxiety prevailed. The Imamoglu posters have been removed. Rumors spread that Başak Demirtaş and HDP members would join the trip. There were also tensions due to Trabzonspor becoming champions and Rizespor being relegated. Erdogan’s boos during the celebration in Trabzon had upset the nerves of the city “Reis”.

The phrase that Imamoglu wants to announce

İmamoğlu landed at Trabzon airport in this climate. Greeted by a small crowd, İmamoğlu headed towards Rize with the bus with his name written on it and the delegation. The real surprise of the trip was in Derepazarı. Mayor Selim Metin, who resigned from the MHP, held a ceremony for İmamoğlu. It was a brave move for Derepazarı, who almost entirely voted for the AK party in the elections.

A citizen of Derepazarı said to İmamoğlu, who shook his hand: “Apply, don’t be afraid!” mentioned.

This phrase was voiced by hundreds of citizens throughout the trip. Perhaps the main purpose of the trip was to get people to say that phrase and hear what they wanted to hear.

What did Imamoglu do when he heard the phrase?

He was silent.

Or smiled.

Square accounting

When İmamoğlu entered Rize, there were Provincial CHP Chairman Rize Saltuk Deniz and Provincial Party Chairman Iyi Ayşegül Özyanık, Saadet, DEVA and Future Party members on the field.

A crowd of 750 to 1000 people was waiting on July 15 Place de la Démocratie et de la République. This figure may seem small to those unfamiliar with Rize.

Rize is a city connected to its compatriot.

While Mesut Yılmaz was the president of ANAP, Rize was “Mesutçu”. So much so that Erdogan was prevented from entering Rize the day before the November 3, 2002 election, when he came to power. Erdogan took the seal of Rize from Mesutçus. It was once again Mesut Yılmaz who shook the overwhelming dominance of the AK party in Rize. Despite all the pressure, Yılmaz was elected MP in 2007. No one else made it to the list.

I want to say that…

Only Erdogan could fill Rize’s place.

In the past, Yılmaz had this power.

And while supporting Erdogan, Sedat Peker…

In addition, three of the three deputies and the mayor are members of the AK party; While Yusuf Ziya Alim, general manager of Çay-Kur, the city’s largest employer, was the elder brother of provincial AK party chairman İshak Alim; Attending the İmamoğlu gathering is like burning ships. İmamoğlu addressed as many audiences as an opposition leader could muster.

It may be few.

The goal was to show willpower.

To be able to say “I’m going to walk around Rize as if I were on the street from my home”.

He accomplished that too.

The banner did not provoke

As Imamoglu spoke, a banner reading “Down with the PKK and all its collaborators” was hung on the roof of the business center opposite. This banner was the only organized protest, not counting the few boos we heard along the way as İmamoğlu’s bus was traveling from Rize to Çayeli.

Black propaganda associating Imamoglu with the PKK found no response in Rize. This propaganda, which would confuse the streets of the Black Sea region, where the names of the martyr soldiers were given to the viaducts on the coast of Of in Kemalpaşa, obviously had no credibility. The street only moved if it was organized from top to bottom. The most recent example of such a provocation was the attack on Iyi party leader Meral Akşener in İkizdere and Çayeli last year.

Rize suffered greatly from the provocation.

Fortunately, the AK party also learned a lesson.

His next stop was Çayeli, the district of AK Party Vice Chairman Hayati Yazıcı. Imamoglu spoke in front of a large Erdogan banner hung during Akşener’s eventful visit. At one point, Imamoglu, referring to Erdogan, claimed that politicians saying “I” were the source of the problems. Çayeli residents said, “He is looking at you,” pointing to Erdogan’s banner.

They made fun of each other.

The deluge of love in Beyond the Tunnel

Rize is split in two.

The tunnel separating Çayeli and Pazar forms both a geographical and sociological boundary. The phrase “Beyond the Tunnel” is used to describe the regions where the Laz live. Going east, the color on the left becomes more pronounced.

In Ardeşen, where Laz is spoken on a daily basis, a wonderful welcome was reserved for İmamoğlu. Ardeşen residents, who surrounded the bus, played in overalls and bid farewell to İmamoğlu in Fındıklı. Fındıklı, the only municipality with cogeneration in Rize, overflowed into the street. Interest has increased exponentially in Arhavi, Hopa and Kemalpaşa districts of Artvin. Although we did not enter the electoral zone, the region did not deny its love to İmamoğlu. Except for Mansur Yavaş, there is no other mayor who will hold a rally in this mass. Imamoglu’s strength comes from Erdogan’s defeat in Istanbul.

He said ‘I’m here’

In all the neighborhoods he visited, citizens wondered the answer to the following question: “Why did he come?”

İmamoğlu went on a trip to say “I am here”. Trying to make him unable to go out on the streets by associating with the PKK, Erdoğan visited the president’s hometown and challenged them against Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and AK party members. He imposed his candidacy on CHP chief Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and the six-man table. He reminded me that his name was on the table. Despite Yavaş opening the door in the polls, he showed his answer on the street.

From Mesut Yılmaz to Alper Taş

İmamoğlu wants to repeat Erdoğan’s adventure from İBB to Beştepe.

He is right.

But as Erdogan said, there were believers behind him. There are professional employees and compatriots around İmamoğlu. The meetings could not have taken place without the contribution of CHP organizations and municipalities. This is how İmamoğlu was received because he was the chairman of the CHP.

If he launches despite the CHP…

Or if the CHP headquarters withdraws its support, the street will be empty.

Imamoglu can only be a candidate if his party so decides. Otherwise, it seems unlikely and unrealistic. It is known that the CHP headquarters is not satisfied with the visit. Except for Turan Aydoğdu and Ahmet Kaya, known to be close to İmamoğlu, no one followed the trip. MP Artvin Uğur Bayraktutan attended the dinner in his city. With the exception of a few Party Council members, there was no attendance.

The second characteristic that distinguishes Erdogan is his ideological orientation.

This is what is wrong with İmamoğlu.

In Çayeli, he praises the political acumen of Mesut Yılmaz and the revolutionary struggle of Left Party member Alper Taş in nearby Pazar. As the Social Democrat moves east of Rize, the centre-right line is established coming west.

The problem of ideological orientation is also reflected in his speeches.

In his speeches, İmamoğlu glorifies the people of the region by evoking the memories of his father, who was a trader, during his shopping in Rize and its neighborhoods. He states that tea and hazelnuts are not worth the money. She complains of being blocked, insulted and threatened at IMM. He says he is a soldier of the six table, that 60% of society wants change and that they will crown the Republic with democracy in its centenary.

How will this work be carried out and with which candidate; does not specify.

He does not say “I am a candidate”.

He does not say “I will not do it” to those who say “Be a candidate”.

Second strongest candidate

Despite all his shortcomings, İmamoğlu is one of the four presidential candidates of the National Alliance, along with Yavaş, Kılıçdaroğlu and Akşener, according to surveys and field observations. The second most admired candidate after Yavaş.

Imamoglu has been the target of the government for three years… Some of his powers have been taken away from them, he has blocked them several times. There was no shortage of municipal inspectors, investigations and prosecutions at the courthouse. The ruling media spend their time on İmamoğlu. To these fights must be added İmamoğlu’s mistakes, such as going to the fisherman with the British ambassador in the snow disaster. To be fair, İmamoğlu maintains its claim despite wear and tear. But since he hasn’t declared his real intention, he wants to walk around Rize and walk to Ankara.

It takes way too long.

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