The Iğdır mayoral candidate for the main opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP), Sözer Sayan, conveyed to the party chairman his discomfort over remarks by far-right Good Party (İP) Chairwoman Meral Akşener, who suggested that her party may support the other election bloc's candidate in the province.
"I request a correction for Akşener's statements [over Iğdır], "Sözer said in his letter to CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
The CHP and İP are components of the Nation Alliance, an election bloc that pledged to support each other's candidates in certain provinces and districts.
Sözer underscored that Akşener has acted in a way incompatible with Nation Alliance principles by saying that she will support the Iğdır candidate of the Nation Alliance if the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) field a joint candidate in eastern Iğdır province.
Akşener previously announced that her party would not present candidates in Iğdır and Ahlat where the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party's (HDP) voter base is strong and advised other parties to do the same to prevent the HDP from taking over the municipalities. She also announced that she would support a joint candidate of the People's Alliance in Iğdır to halt votes for the HDP.
Although the CHP and İP have been in an alliance for two years now, the İP is extremely critical of the HDP's demands for further autonomy of Kurdish people living in Turkey due to its nationalistic ideological background. Therefore, the İP is determined to sacrifice its alliance with the CHP for the sake of undermining votes for the HDP.
The HDP is known for its support of autonomy in regions where large Kurdish populations live. Also, some of its members have been charged with or accused of having links to the terrorist PKK that has been fighting the Turkish state for more than 30 years and left more than 40,000 dead. Its former co-leader, Selahattin Demirtaş, was arrested in November 2016 over terrorist propaganda.