Şişli Mayor Sarıgül meets CHP leader before official return

Şişli Mayor Sarıgül meets CHP leader before official return

Şişli Mayor Sarıgül meets CHP leader before official return

Mustafa Sarıgül (R), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (C) and Oğuz Kaan Salıcı met at breakfast on Nov. 2, a day before CHP's party assembly where the Şişli mayor's joining may be submitted to vote. AA photo

The popular mayor of Istanbul’s vibrant Şişli district, Mustafa Sarıgül, met with Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu during a breakfast in Ankara on Nov. 2.

The meeting came a week after Kılıçdaroğlu invited the group founded by Sarıgül, the Turkey Movement for Change (TDH), to join the CHP. Sarıgül, long-rumored as CHP's candidate for the Istanbul mayoralty in coming March 2014 local elections, was expected to submit a petition to return to his former party.

CHP’s Istanbul branch head Oğuz Kaan Salıcı, who is in charge of the preparations of the local election campaign, also attended the breakfast.

“It was a very productive meeting. May it be prosperous for us all,” Sarıgül was quoted as saying by private broadcaster NTV after the meeting.

After weeks of uncertainty over his candidacy – mainly because of the resistance to his rejoining from within the CHP – it looks there is only red tape between Sarıgül and the party he worked with for years. It can be submitted to a vote as soon as during the CHP party assembly on Nov. 3. 

Despite reportedly not being favored by some prominent members of his former party, the current Şişli mayor is considered as the figure likely to garner the most votes in Istanbul against any Justice and Development Party (AKP) candidate in March 2014 elections.