Gürsel Tekin, the former Istanbul provincial head of the Republican People's Party (CHP), has joined a long list of CHP members looking to run for Istanbul mayor.
The veteran CHP member announced his intentions yesterday during a press conference in Parliament. "I will run for [mayor of the] Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality," Tekin said.
He referred to the other CHP members looking for party nomination "as very precious," and added that "none of my friends are competitors of mine." The number of CHP members looking to run for the Istanbul mayor's office has been slowly increasing. Five prominent members of the CHP are already appraising their chances for nomination behind the scenes as the party hopes to break the Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) long-standing rule in Turkey's commercial and cultural capital.
CHP General Secretary Akif Hamzaçebi is another hopeful candidate. Recent reports suggest that he has intensified fieldwork to measure voter tendencies. Among others, the names of CHP Istanbul deputy Mahmut Tanal and CHP Deputy Group Chairman Engin Altay have also been mentioned within the party.
"I am a politician who started all this work in Istanbul four years ago. Today, I am acting like I am the candidate, what my party does tomorrow is none of my concern. I am not present in anything that will interrupt my work. I see the great voter support on the field," Tekin said.
He said that they are assertive about even areas where the CHP receive the least votes, Tekin underscored that they have crucial projects and strong cadres for Istanbul.In his political life, Tekin served as an Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality council member, Istanbul provincial vice president, Istanbul provincial head and the deputy chairman and secretary-general of the CHP. He was elected as an Istanbul deputy in the 24th, 25th and 26th terms of Parliament.
In 2015, Tekin made controversial statements when he was serving as a secretary-general of the CHP, saying that when they come to power; the first actions of the CHP would be to take over some newspapers that he claimed were targeting the CHP.
In relation to debates surrounding the possible candidacy of Muharrem İnce - a leading dissident figure in the CHP - for Istanbul mayor, party Deputy Chairman Seyit Torun said yesterday that the accuracy of his ca
ndidacy would be debated as he was the CHP presidential candidate in the June 24 elections. İnce announced that he intends to participate in the next presidential race as chairman of the CHP; however, he also stressed that he would run for Istanbul's mayor's office if the party elected him in a primary election.