Şişli Mayor Sarigül’s official return to main opposition CHP in less than a week
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
Şişli Mayor Mustafa Sarıgül and CHP Istanbul branch head Oğuz Kaan Salıcı pose in front of the Şişli Municipality building before a meeting. DHA PhotoMustafa Sarıgül has set Nov. 9 for his eventual official return to the Republican People’s Party (CHP), which he dubbed as the return of a right.
Sarıgül thanked the CHP administration and expressed the need to start a blank page while speaking at a press meeting one day after his return was approved by the party.
“This decision will provide a great benefit for the democratic meeting that our country has been missing,” he said yesterday.
“This decision is also the delivery of a right. This decision is on the side of rights, law and justice,” he also added.
The CHP’s party assembly accepted Sarıgül’s demand to reinstate his membership of the party with an election on Nov. 3.
Long expected to be the CHP’s candidate for the Istanbul mayoralty in the coming March 2014 local elections, the popular mayor of the city’s Şişli district sealed the comeback to his former party after his controversial expulsion in 2005.
During the press meeting, Sarıgül also announced a badge-pinning ceremony date for Nov. 9 to officially mark his return to the CHP, “to the family home” as he called it.
CHP leader Kemal Kılçdaroğlu will hand over a membership card to Sarıgül during the ceremony, which will be held at the CHP Headquarters in Ankara.
The Şişli mayor is considered by many as the figure who can garner the most votes against any potential ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) candidate in Turkey’s largest city.
However, Sarıgül, who was once seen as the flag-bearer CHP’s progressive wing, is reportedly not favored by a number of prominent members of the party and will face tough opposition before securing his Istanbul candidacy.