As he stood on the top of his campaign bus before a sea of supporters on election night, Ekrem Imamoglu, Istanbul’s mayor-elect — the man who beat President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his all-powerful party machine twice — hugged a teenager who had by chance helped him win over the city.

Running alongside the then-candidate’s bus in March, the boy, Berkay Gezgin, had shouted to him: “Don’t worry, brother Ekrem, everything will be fine.”

It became the campaign’s slogan, because it captured exactly the spirit that Mr. Imamoglu, a virtually unknown district mayor, was trying to evoke as he took on one of the heavyweights of the ruling party — not to speak of Mr. Erdogan himself.
Mr. Imamoglu, 49, beat Mr. Erdogan’s candidate first in March and again in a rerun on Sunday. His winning formula was a message of optimism and love that sought to appeal to the religious conservatives who formed the base of Mr. Erdogan’s support, as well as nationalists and the important Kurdish minority.

Yazının devamını okumak için: How a Message of Unity and Mistakes by Erdogan Tipped the Istanbul Election