CHP, İYİ Party leader deny tension within opposition alliance

CHP, İYİ Party leader deny tension within opposition alliance

CHP, İYİ Party leader deny tension within opposition alliance

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and the İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener have denied that there is tension within the opposition alliance after a court decision against the Istanbul mayor.

Kılıçdaroğlu and Akşener held a tete-a-tete meeting late on Dec. 27. It came after senior officials from the two parties traded blame and accused each other of intervening in the internal affairs of their respective political parties.

Both leaders told the media that there was no tension but determination in winning the upcoming presidential and parliamentary polls.

“I can’t disclose the content of the meeting. That would be wrong,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in a brief statement, describing the meeting as fruitful and good. “I can only say that our agreement for changing this weird system is a must,” he said.

Akşener, for her part, said they discussed the court decision against Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu. “I cannot really understand how the discussion evolved into Meral Akşener’s stealing role while İmamoğlu is risking losing his job. I am utterly surprised,” she stated.

Akşener referred to some CHP officials’ accusations against her that she went to support İmamoğlu after a court decision against the Istanbul mayor in the absence of Kılıçdaroğlu, who was in Germany. An Istanbul court imposed a political ban and a jail term of more than two-and-half years against İmamoğlu for insulting the members of the Supreme Election Board (YSK). The decision will be taken to an appeals court.
“The six-party alliance will not collapse. We will win the elections altogether,” Akşener told the Turkish media.

İmamoğlu lashes out at interior minister

In the meantime, İmamoğlu held a press conference in Istanbul about an ongoing investigation into Istanbul Municipality over the alleged recruitment of terror-linked people. Senior officials from the six opposition parties that make up the Nation Alliance also attended the conference.

Stressing that some of the employees with alleged terror links were recruited by former mayors from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), İmamoğlu said: “If the investigation report submitted to the prosecutor includes former Mayor Mevlüt Uysal, Istanbul governor and his aides then I don’t have anything to say. But if this report only mentions İmamoğlu and his officials, then we will make life very difficult for you.”

He also blamed Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu for launching this investigation against him.

Meanwhile, Soylu responded to the claims by İmamoğlu at a press conference later in the day. “We are not investigating only Istanbul municipality. Our investigation covers all the municipalities that employed terror-linked people,” Soylu stated.

“Our job is to make these investigations and submit its results to the justice,” he said, informing that this investigation shows that the Istanbul Municipality recruited 505 people with links to the terror.

“The mayor who was elected with the votes of 16 million people has no luxury to lie,” the minister stated.

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