Main opposition CHP hints at Sarıgül for Istanbul candidacy

Main opposition CHP hints at Sarıgül for Istanbul candidacy

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
Main opposition CHP hints at Sarıgül for Istanbul candidacy

Şişli Mayor Mustafa Sarıgül is favored by an important fringe of the locals despite not being prefered by some prominent members of the CHP. DHA photo

As uncertainty still surrounds the main opposition party’s choice of candidate for the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality in the run-up to the March 2014 local elections, a leading figure in the party has hinted that it could be incumbent Şişli Mayor Mustafa Sarıgül.

Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chair Faruk Loğoğlu was speaking at a press conference in Parliament, when asked to elaborate on the CHP Deputy Chair Gürsel Tekin’s recently announced self-nomination for Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.

“The CHP should make its position clear on this issue as soon as possible. For Istanbul, the situation is quite clear. Our friends can declare their nomination, but what should be done in Istanbul is very clear. The CHP should immediately make its decision public,” Loğoğlu told reporters.

Sarıgül, the popular mayor of Şişli since 1999 who once initiated a campaign to topple then-party leader Deniz Baykal and was eventually expelled from the party, is considered by many as the only figure likely to garner the most votes in Istanbul against any Justice and Development Party (AKP) candidate in the March 2014 local elections.

Despite blowing public wind for joining the CHP, Sarıgül has not yet taken the much-anticipated step, although CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu invited him to submit the petition to rejoin the party.

Meanwhile, the CHP Deputy Chair Tekin, once the second-arm of Kılıçdaroğlu, announced over the weekend that he would run for Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.

Sarıgül ‘best choice’

The best thing to do in Istanbul for the CHP is obvious, Loğoğlu said, implying that Sarıgül would be the best choice for his party. Loğoğlu was among the Turkey’s Change Movement (TDH) - a political movement founded by Sarıgül in 2008, but which has yet to register as a party - ranks before joining the CHP.

Loğoğlu also signaled the CHP may vote against the motion, authorizing the government to send troops or to engage in a military operation in Syria.

Despite refraining from making his party’s position on the issue clear, Loğoğlu said: “We may vote in a way that would surprise you.” The CHP voted in favor of the similar government motions for Iraq in previous years.

Meanwhile, CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu received the newly appointed Swedish Ambassador to Ankara Lars Wahlund and Belgian Ambassador to Ankara Marc Trenteseau on Oct. 6.