CHP appoints its mufti deputy as mayoral candidate of Istanbul's Üsküdar district
Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy İlhan Özkes (L), who is a former mufti, will run for the Üsküdar mayor post. AA photoİlhan Özkes, a deputy from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and a former mufti, will run as the main opposition party’s mayoral candidate for the Istanbul district of Üsküdar. He was offered this candidacy directly by CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who kindly asked Özkes to run for local polls.
“A request of our leader is an order for us,” Özkes told daily Hürriyet on Jan. 31 “My candidacy will be finalized at a Party Assembly meeting on Feb. 9. I reside in Üsküdar, which is my constituency and where I had served as mufti. We will as soon as prepare an election strategy and hit the road immediately [for the polls],” he added.
This is going to be Özkes’ second mayoral candidacy for Üsküdar, as he ran for the same post during the 1999 local elections from the ranks of the Democratic Left Party (DSP). Özkes was among CHP’s candidates for nomination in 2004, but could not run elections that time. Üsküdar is well-known as a conservative district, where Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is also among its residents.
Although Kılıçdaroğlu had vowed not to nominate lawmakers for district candidacies, Özkes has become the second deputy after Eskişehir Deputy Kazım Kurt who is set to run for the Odunpazarı district of Eskişehir.