The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is allying with all voters for the upcoming elections regardless of their political parties, leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said on Feb. 17 in response to ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) accusations that his party was forming a de facto alliance with the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
“They are criticizing us for forming alliances with this or that party. We are allying with all voters,” Kılıçdaroğlu said at his party’s event to introduce mayoral candidates for the Aegean province of İzmir for the March 31 local elections.
“The one who will govern İzmir needs to embrace its culture and has to be from İzmir. What did they do? They imported a candidate for İzmir. How can the great İzmir be governed by an imported candidate?” he added, referring to the AKP’s candidate for İzmir Metropolitan Municipality, Nihat Zeybekçi, who is from the southwestern province of Denizli.
Kılıçdaroğlu also said that İzmir’s current metropolitan mayor, Aziz Kocaoğlu, has been exemplary to the whole country with his works for the city.
“At the World Bank’s conference for urban cities, the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality’s works in agriculture was shown as an exemplary model,” he added.
The CHP head also slammed the government over a new implementation regarding the sale of produces via municipalities, saying the move was reminiscent of “archaic practices.”
“We live in 2019. They do not know what to do in this day and age. Municipal sales were left in the 1970s. If you want to generate agricultural growth and heal the relations of urban and rural areas, you should consult Kocaoğlu,” he added.
The HDP announced on Jan. 28 it will not nominate mayoral candidates for seven major municipalities, including Istanbul, İzmir and Ankara, in the March local elections. HDP spokesman Saruhan Oluç said the party would not nominate candidates for Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Adana and Mersin too. “We are not doing this on behalf of this or that party. We are doing this for the struggle for democracy,” Oluç said.
“The HDP, an extension of Qandil [Mountains], is allying with the CHP and İYİ [Good] Party. These extensions of Qandil are supporting the CHP and İYİ Party to defeat the AKP in the polls,” AKP spokesperson Mahir Ünal said on Feb. 17, referring to mountains in northern Iraq where the PKK has its main base. The AKP accuses the HDP of having direct links with the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist group by Ankara.