Istanbul's opposition mayor tests positive for COVID-19

The mayor of Istanbul has tested positive for COVID-19, a spokesman for the Turkish city said Saturday.

Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu has received treatment at a hospital and his condition is good, spokesman Murat Ongun tweeted.

Istanbul, a city of 16 million people, has recorded 40% of Turkey’s total reported coronavirus cases, according to Health Minister Fahrettin Koca.

People wearing masks to help protect against the spread of coronavirus, walk past a billboard about the works of Leonardo da Vinci, Italian Renaissance artist, in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. Turkey's Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said Friday COVID-19 infections were on the rise across the country and 40 percent of cases were in Istanbul, Turkey's most populous city with more than 15 million people.(AP PhotoBurhan Ozbilici)

Imamoglu, who represents the opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP, became one of Turkey’s most recognizable politicians after winning office in June 2019.

His success was part of a series of victories for the CHP in major cities , including capital Ankara.

The mayor and other opposition figures have criticized the Turkish government’s approach to tackling the virus, including its decision to publish data only on patients displaying COVID-19 symptoms rather than including asymptomatic individuals.

The country on Friday reported 2,165 new confirmed cases in people with symptoms, the highest daily number since restrictions to combat the outbreak were imposed in May.

The new cases brought Turkey’s total known cases to 357,693, including 9,658 virus-related deaths.