Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the chairman of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) has described his relations with Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu as father and son in a bid to end speculations that the two men have different stances concerning who should be the joint candidate of the opposition alliance.
“Ekrem İmamoğlu is here today [at the CHP parliamentary group]. I will now disclose something our closest friends already know. We are like father and son with İmamoğlu. As he is the son of the CHP, he is at the same time like my son,” Kılıçdaroğlu told his deputies at the Parliament on Dec. 20.
On a question about Kılıçdaroğlu’s description of their ties as father and son, İmamoğlu said “I felt proud.”
İmamoğlu also attended the parliamentary group of the CHP and held a face-to-face meeting with Kılıçdaroğlu. The visit comes amid discussions whether a court decision that imposed a political ban on İmamoğlu would have an influence on the joint candidate of the opposition alliance. There are speculations that Good (İYİ) Party Chairwoman Meral Akşener supports İmamoğlu’s candidacy despite Kılıçdaroğlu’s opposition.
The CHP leader did not touch on this debate but reiterated that he will continue to defend İmamoğlu against the government after Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said he would remove the mayor from office in case the court decision is approved by the appeals court.
“Who are you to remove the lover of 16 million people of Istanbul from his office?” he asked.
Repeating that the six-party Nation Alliance continues to stay together, Kılıçdaroğlu said “We will absolutely build the power of people. We will struggle with determination. We will bring peace to Türkiye. As six leaders, we are together. We will bring democracy altogether.”
“We will wait for the polls with common sense. We will unseat the government,” he added.
Hurriyet Daily News