Canan Kaftancıoğlu, the Istanbul provincial head of the secular main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), said on Wednesday the party has set its sights on governing Turkey following its success in last year’s local elections, Cumhuriyet reported.
“We are ready to work harder, there is a whole lot more work to be done. Istanbul belongs to the people once again, but there is more,” Kaftancıoğlu said during an interview with Cumhuriyet.
The Istanbul provincial head became a rising star in the opposition after the March 31 local elections, and is largely credited as pushing the CHP to victory in Istanbul and thereby ending 25 years of Islamist rule in the city since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was elected as its mayor in 1994.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost control of five of Turkey’s six largest cities, including Istanbul and Ankara, as Turks saw living standards plummet in the aftermath of the 2018 currency crisis, which sparked a severe economic downturn, with Erdoğan further tightening his grip on power.
“We want to materialise a democratic Turkey dream, where none of our citizens have economic or social concerns, and everyone is presented in the government,” she said.
Meanwhile, Ekrem İmamoğlu, who became a figurehead for Turkey’s political opposition by winning elections in Istanbul, leads against Erdoğan for the country’s next president, according to opinion polls.