As the election race resumes for Istanbul till June 23, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) turns its eye on the other opposition parties in search of support. The leftist Democratic Left Party (DSP), the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) and the conservative Felicity Party (SP) come to fore as the three parties that CHP is most interested in despite the ideological differences and past disputes among them.
Yesterday, CHP Deputy Chairmen Seyit Torun and Oğuz Kaan Salıcı paid a visit to DSP headquarters to seek support for the Istanbul elections. Following the meeting, DSP Deputy Chairman Hasan Erçelebi made a statement, saying that they will evaluate within the party whether or not they'll continue with their own candidate for the elections.
"We continue our struggle for democracy to live. In regards to the information that we gathered today [from the CHP] we called our presidential committee and party assembly for an extraordinary meeting," Erçelebi said.
Torun, on the other hand, highlighted that the dialogue between the two parties on the matter will continue in the upcoming period. Muammer Aydın, the DSP Istanbul mayoral candidate received 30,817 votes in the previous March 31 local polls.
Despite both being parties with leftist tendencies, the CHP and the DSP had a tense dispute before the March 31 polls as the former accused the latter of dividing the votes. Reportedly, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu criticized the DSP, saying that the party "does not serve the future of Turkey."
Kılıçdaroğlu's statement came following DSP Chairman Önder Aksakal's words, claiming that those who were "sincere in politics" preferred joining the DSP instead of the CHP. Both parties have been critical of one another for quite some time, both blaming each other for "letting the AK Party [ruling Justice and Development Party] win elections." During the process of determining municipal candidates, a number of candidates who were turned down by the CHP announced that they would run under the DSP banner, fueling the dispute. Similar to the DSP, the SP also announced yesterday that they would decide whether or not to show a candidate in the aftermath of a discussion within the party circles. On the March 31 local elections, SP Istanbul mayoral candidate Necdet Gökçınar received 103,300 votes.
The Nation Alliance between the CHP, the SP, the right-wing Good Party (İP) and the center-right Democrat Party (DP) was formed ahead of the June 24 elections.
Even though the alliance received 33.9 percent of the votes and suffered a massive defeat, the parties in the alliance gave a green light to continue the alliance to appeal to the other parties' voter bases in the local elections. However, although the CHP initially wanted to continue the alliance with the SP in the March 31 local polls as well, the two parties failed to agree on terms and the SP ran by itself.
The TKP, however, announced yesterday that they'll not show their own candidate but instead support CHP candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu in the June 23 redo elections in Istanbul.
"Although we have political, ideological and class disagreements, we've previously stated that İmamoğlu is the legitimate mayor [of Istanbul]," the TKP said in a statement. "We believe that every approach that would shadow this reality is wrong," it continued. The party also said that although in their opinion boycotting the elections is the right thing to do, they will decide what to do in regards to the upcoming developments. The Istanbul mayoral candidate of the TKP, Zehra Güner Karaoğlu, received 10,492 votes in the March 31 local polls.