Erdoğan’s inner circle and his son in law find places in AKP candidate list
AA PhotoThe ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) candidate list for the upcoming general election included figures from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s inner circle, who will likely be taking a seat at parliament for the first time as lawmakers. Among the surprise names is Berat Albayrak, Erdoğan’s son-in-law, who has been nominated from Istanbul.
Along with Erdoğan loyalists, several advisors known as being close to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu have also taken part at the AKP’s list, making for an intriguing balance.
AKP Deputy Chair Mustafa Şentop said President Erdoğan had influence on the party candidates list in “broad terms.”
“[The president] does not need to see the lists. We make politics within the framework of principles he has laid out,” Şentop said.
He also noted that the AKP “out of principle” did not include close relatives of existing party members in the list, in a reference to the non-candidacy of Osman Gökçek, the son of Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek.
Some 99 candidates out of the AKP’s total 550 candidates are women, while 105 of the AKP’s current MPs are not included in the list.
“We attached importance to the dynamics of Turkey’s sociology. Our candidates are not just showcase candidates,” AKP Spokesperson Beşir Atalay said in a press conference on April 7.
The AKP considered candidates who would ideally assume responsibility for writing a new constitution for Turkey, Atalay added.
Among the new names that will run for parliament from the AKP are Mücahit Arslan, a close confidant of Erdoğan for decades; Yasin Akdağ; Aydın Ünal, Erdoğan’s former speechwriter; journalist Mahmut Övür; and journalist Nuri Elibol.
Current ministers who were appointed to the cabinet despite not being deputies - Efkan Ala, Yalçın Akdoğan, and Numan Kurtulmuş - have all been nominated to be elected to parliament in June.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s advisors Ali Sarıkaya, Prof. Dr. Vedat Bilgin, Prof. Dr. Emine Nur Günay, Taha Özhan, Ertan Aydın, and Prof. Celil Göçer are also in the list.
The list also includes Mustafa İsen, a secretary of former President Abdullah Gül.
Ozan Ceyhun, a former German-Turkish European Parliament MP, and Savcı Sayan, a former member of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and adviser to former CHP leader Deniz Baykal, are also among the surprise names on the AKP’s list.