The main opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP) Ankara Metropolitan Municipality candidate, Mansur Yavaş, denied accusations claiming that he forged a signature to start a criminal prosecution proceeding.
"I am the real victim. There has been no penal verdict nor criminal proceeding brought against me," Yavaş said yesterday during a press briefing addressing the allegations.
Yavaş also stressed that he is the first mayor to disclose his personal assets to the public in line with the transparency principle, adding that the claims are only speculations.
On Monday, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) called on the CHP to address the recent forgery allegations directed at Yavaş. According to a report in the Turkish daily, Sabah, Yavaş was sued for attempting to collect a $600,000 check, which he received as a trustee. It was also claimed that if Yavaş were convicted, he would not be able to serve as mayor.
Meanwhile, the CHP's efforts to bring various opposition parties from different ideological backgrounds together on common anti-AK Party rhetoric seem to be crumbling, as the Democratic Left Party (DSP) increasingly emphasizes its adversarial discourse against the CHP in its election campaign for the March 31 local elections.
Recently, DSP challenged the CHP with its election posters hanging in the streets throughout Ankara. "Not slow, slow but Haydar Haydar" posters on the billboard read, referring to the literal meaning of the surnames of Yavaş, slow in Turkish, and the DSP's Ankara mayoral candidate Haydar Yılmaz.
Another rhyming reference also found its place on DSP posters, which translate as "Two acrobats cannot dance on the same rope; the people of Ankara will not fall for it." The CHP accuses the DSP of dividing the votes and dispossessing some CHP members by showing them as municipal candidates in the local elections. Despite addressing similar voter bases as both are leftist parties, the CHP and the DSP have been critical of one another for quite some time, both blaming each other for "letting the AK Party win elections." During the process of determining municipal candidates, a number of candidates who were turned down by the CHP have announced that they would run under the DSP banner, fueling the dispute.
CHP Bartın Deputy Aysu Bankoğlu is also facing an investigation launched on the charges of "propagating terrorism" and "glorifying crime and criminals" over her remarks on Monday. During a televised speech, Bankoğlu denied the link between pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and the PKK. "We are seeking for the votes of all. It does not matter whether one is from the PKK," she said.