Turkish lawmaker quits CHP as party denies forcing resignation

Turkish lawmaker quits CHP as party denies forcing resignation

Turkish lawmaker quits CHP as party denies forcing resignation

DHA photo

Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker İhsan Özkes has announced his resignation from the party, as the CHP denied claims that the MP was forced to leave the party assembly.

Özkes, who was elected as a deputy from Istanbul for the second time in the June 7 parliamentary elections, submitted his resignation to party chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu at the CHP headquarters in Ankara on July 20, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

He was quoted as saying that if needed, he would announce the reason for his resignation later, adding that he had sent his request to resign to the parliamentary speaker’s office.  

Özkes has not yet announced whether he will join one of the other three parties in the legislature or remain in parliament as an independent deputy. If he decides to remain without a party, he would become the first independent deputy in the 25th parliament, which was formed following the June 7 polls. 

Meanwhile, the CHP Communications Coordinator’s Office said July 21 that news reports claiming that Özkes was forced to resign from the party assembly were untrue. 

The CHP said in a written statement that such news reports were “untrue and fictional.”

Özkes, a former mufti, became a CHP deputy in the 2011 elections. He ran for mayor for Istanbul’s conservative Üsküdar Municipality on a CHP ticket during the March 30, 2014, local elections but lost to the AKP’s candidate by around 8,000 votes. Although Özkes intended to apply for a recount of the votes, he had said he was abandoned in his fight. 

Özkes received the highest number of votes to join the CHP party assembly during a general assembly in September 2014.

The CHP came second in June’s general election, winning 132 seats, and is involved in ongoing coalition talks with the Justice and Development Party (AKP), which won the largest share of seats but no majority.