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Turkey cities urge Istanbul residents to scrap June holidays and vote in mayoral election re-run

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By Kamuran Samar  & Emma Beswick
Turkey cities urge Istanbul residents to scrap June holidays and vote in mayoral election re-run

After officials on Monday ordered a re-run of elections in Istanbul, several municipalities took to Twitter urging people from the city not to come on holiday in June, but to stay and vote.

Coastal cities held by opposition parties kicked off the campaign on Twitter, using different techniques to dissuade voters from visiting on June 23 — the date of the new vote.

Mayor of Adana Metropolitan Municipality, a major city in southern Turkey, Zeydan Karalar from the National Alliance party, published a tweet on the area's official Twitter account that jokingly stated: "150 degrees in Adana on June 23".

A tweet also appeared on the southwestern Municipality of Bodrum's Twitter account that read: "Dear people of Istanbul, according to our information, the weather will be very stormy and snow is even expected on June 23. Due to the bad weather, the beaches will be closed. You can visit our city starting on June 24."

As the campaign spread rapidly on social media, Cesme Municipality, situated on the country's west coast, also posted: "Because of a storm coming in from Istanbul, our coastlines are dangerous and it will be forbidden to enter the sea, even on June 23."

Many other district municipalities, including Mersin Metropolitan Municipality situated on the Mediterranean coast of southern Turkey, also supported the campaign.

Turkey’s main opposition the Republican People’s party (CHP) on Monday accused authorities of "plain dictatorship" after the electoral board annulled the March 31 result and announced a re-run of the mayoral elections after complaints of corruption.

READ MORE: Turkey orders re-run of Istanbul election after Erdogan party defeat

CHP Deputy Chairman Onursal Adiguzel said it appeared "illegal" to defeat President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's party AK Party, which suffered a surprise defeat in the vote.

Erdogan welcomed the order claiming a new poll was the "best step" for the country.

The CHP said on Wednesday it asked authorities to annul 2018's national elections as well as elections in March for Istanbul mayor and other local posts in the wake of the re-run ruling.

READ MORE: Turkey's CHP appeals to annul Turkey's 2018 vote and entire Istanbul election