Republican People's Party (CHP) members have been competing for nomination to be the party's candidate for the post of Istanbul mayor with CHP General Secretary Akif Hamzaçebi recently announcing his intentions for the post.
Hamzaçebi, who is one of the names on the list of the main opposition CHP looking to run for mayor, criticized the CHP for failing to win municipal elections in Istanbul for a long time, "If I am nominated for the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, I guarantee more than half of the votes. I am putting myself up for votes from the entire political spectrum," he said in a recent interview with Turkish media.
Hamzaçebi who was the head of the provincial treasury of Istanbul for three years, has intensified fieldwork to measure voter tendencies in Istanbul where the opposition has tried to break the decades-old rule of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), recent reports suggest.
"I have been seeking solutions for the problems in Istanbul for a long time. The problems of this major city have been on my agenda from the time when I worked in the provincial treasury. I have been a member of the Parliament from CHP for a long time. Being a candidate for Istanbul mayor is a responsibility of mine to take for my party," said Hamzaçebi. The CHP grappled with a massive defeat in the June 24 elections by only gaining 22.6 percent of votes, a lower level of support compared to previous elections.
Dissidents called on the incumbent party Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, whom they see as responsible for repeated election failures, to step down and started a petition to convene an extraordinary convention. Yet, the dissidents, led by Muharrem İnce, who was the party's candidate for the presidential election on June 24, ultimately failed to reach the necessary quorum and faced harsh consequences, including referrals to the disciplinary board from the party's head office.
Gürsel Tekin, the former Istanbul provincial head of CHP, and Muharrem İnce have also voiced their intentions to run for mayor for Istanbul.