CHP calls on Workers’ Party to back İhsanoğlu

CHP calls on Workers’ Party to back İhsanoğlu

CHP calls on Workers’ Party to back İhsanoğlu

The opposition’s joint presidential candidate Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu speaks during a conference. DHA Photo

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has called on the Workers’ Party (İP) to support the opposition’s joint presidential candidate, Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu.

The call came as representatives from political parties exchanged greetings for Eid al-Fitr.

The issue came up as the deputy leader of the İP, Bayram Yurtçiçek, said the presidential elections lacked a candidate loyal to the principles of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who founded the modern Turkish Republic in 1923.

“Mr. İhsanoğlu has always been loyal to Atatürk’s principles. We would expect your support for him as well,” the deputy leader of the CHP, Serhan Erdoğdu, told Yurtçiçek. The İP official said the party had not yet taken an institutional decision on who to support or whether to boycott the Aug. 10 elections.

Although the İP’s vote potential is less than 1 percent, its views find an important audience and can influence the nationalist wing of the CHP. The İP and nationalist wings of the CHP believe İhsanoğlu is not loyal to Atatürk’s principles and republican values and has slammed the party leadership for not nominating someone from the party.

The Great Union Party (BBP), who controls around 2 percent of the vote, reiterated their support to İhsanoğlu during a party delegation visit to the CHP on July 29.

Selahattin Şenliler, the deputy leader of the BBP, said the most important hurdle that could İhsanoğlu’s win is that voters will be unable to return from holidays to vote.

Levent Gök, deputy leader of the CHP, said they had information that 90 percent of those who planned their holiday in advance had already canceled their scheduled trips so as to vote in the elections.

At the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) headquarters, party officials discussed regional developments with their visitors. Gök raised the issue of growing extremist groups, such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq and said he hoped that the government was fully aware of the danger on the country’s borders.