Democratic Left Party (DSP) Chairman Önder Aksakal harshly criticized the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), saying that the party has distanced itself from its founding principles and values.
"The CHP's contemporary structure has no similarities to the party whose roots trace back to the nationalist forces and was founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk," Aksakal told reporters in the southeastern province of Gaziantep where he attended the opening ceremony of the DSP's provincial headquarters.
Stating that society does not consider the new CHP as a reasonable political alternative and does not believe the new CHP's pledges and discourse, Aksakal added that the CHP is "under the invasion of a Jacobin elite who do not have any connection with the people."
Aksakal also stated that they will continue to fight fake Kemalists and fake leftists, those who only act for their own political interests rather than the interests of the country and its people.
The CHP has long been criticized for its unofficial alliance with the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP). The CHP has refrained from officially including the HDP, which has been condemned for its close ties with the PKK, in its electoral alliance with the Good Party (İP) amid fears of a possible backlash from its secular-nationalist voter base.
The HDP is known for its support of autonomy in regions where large Kurdish populations live. Also, some of its members have been charged for or accused of having links to the terrorist organization PKK that has been fighting the Turkish state for more than 30 years, leaving more than 40,000 dead.
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 ruling Justice and Development Party (AK 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.
The CHP accused the DSP of dividing the votes by dispossessing some CHP members by nominating them as municipal candidates in the local elections.