Istanbul Mayor cancels trip to New York after escalation of Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Istanbul Mayor cancels trip to New York after escalation of Israeli-Palestinian conflict
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Ekrem Imamoglu had received a Global Mayors Challenge award from Bloomberg Philanthropies for introducing a social-support and solidarity program in Istanbul during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu cancelled his trip to the United States because of the recent escalation of Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Gercek Gundem reported.

Imamoglu was going to make a speech at an awards ceremony in New York, organized by Bloomberg Philanthropies, a philanthropic organization founded by Michael R. Bloomberg, majority owner of Bloomberg L.P. and former mayor of New York City.

Imamoglu had received a Global Mayors Challenge award for introducing in Istanbul during the COVID-19 pandemic a social-support and solidarity program dubbed "Pay-it- forward" that anonymously matches people burdened by unpaid utility bills and other needs with those willing to provide financial assistance.

The invitation for Imamoglu to make a speech at the ceremony was conveyed in September, and Imamoglu has recently decided not to go to New York in the face of the recent situation in Israel and Palestine, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality sources told Gercek Gundem.

Michael R. Bloomberg and Dacher Keltner, a professor of psychology and host of the podcast The Science of Happiness, are among the guests who are expected to address the ceremony on 18 October.

Imamoglu is one of the potential candidates to replace Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the chair of main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), although he has not yet openly challenged Kilicdaroglu. He ran for vice president in the presidential race in May alongside presidential candidate Kilicdaroglu who lost against Recep Tayyip Erdogan.