Sarıgül officially applies for CHP candidacy for Istanbul mayoral post
Stressing that his mayoral campaign will be aimed at “embracing all segments of society,” Mustafa Sarıgül (R) also vowed to protect all of Istanbul’s cultural and natural heritage. CİHAN PhotoŞişli Mayor Mustafa Sarıgül has officially submitted his candidacy application for the Istanbul municipality in the Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) provincial headquarters.
“As of today, I commend myself firstly to the CHP, then to all of my Istanbul citizens,” Sarıgül said on Dec. 12 in a press conference with the CHP’s Istanbul provincial head, Oğuz Kaan Salıcı, after submitting his application.
The candidate, who returned to his former party after his controversial expulsion in 2005, also used the opportunity to talk briefly about some of his election campaign promises.
Stressing that his mayoral campaign will be aimed at “embracing all segments of society,” Sarıgül also vowed to protect all of Istanbul’s cultural and natural heritage. He also put emphasis on the chronic transport issue in Istanbul, pledging to end the “traffic ordeal,” without giving any details.
Sarıgül also said he disapproves of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s dividing of society with his infamous words during the summer’s Gezi Park protests: “What would happen if the other 50 percent takes to the street?”
“The understanding that ‘half of society is mine, it doesn’t matter what happens to the other half,’ is not right. If my God permits, we will embrace 100 percent of our people, not 10 or 20 percent,” he said.
During the press conference, Sarıgül sought to avoid taking a negative stance, and also wished success to CHP Deputy Chair Gürsel Tekin, who has also declared his preliminary candidacy for the same post.
“I have visited the whole city and I believe my Istanbul citizens will make the best decision. The decision about this issue is first up to my fellow CHP member and then Istanbul’s citizens,” Sarıgül said.
Despite Tekin’s announcement of his nomination for the party’s Istanbul candidacy, Sarıgül – who is considered the only figure who could possibly rival the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) candidate Kadir Topbaş – is expected to be declared as the CHP’s candidate in Turkey’s largest city after next week’s party assembly meeting.
The AKP has announced that current mayor Kadir Topbaş will run for the post again, while Sırrı Süreyya Önder has been officially named as the People’s Democratic Party’s (HDP) Istanbul candidate.
The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), meanwhile, named Rasim Acar as the party’s nominee for the heated Istanbul mayoral race.