The race for the leadership of Turkey’s main opposition party has become wide open, with a leading dissident suggesting that she may run against its leader at the upcoming party convention and the current leader promising a new vision for the party.
In remarks made to state-run Anadolu Agency, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Ankara deputy Emine Ülker Tarhan underlined the party’s grassroots, particularly women and the youth, have been voicing great support for her candidacy.
“I am continuing to make assessments with my colleagues for the future of our party and our country,” Tarhan responded when asked whether she would run against CHP leader Kemal during the extraordinary convention scheduled for Sept. 5-6.
“I want reason and common sense to be at the forefront under these extraordinary conditions. I will make a statement to the public after these assessments,” she added.
Her remarks, which were exclusively delivered to Anadolu Agency, came only a day after CHP Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Muharrem İnce announced his resignation from his post in order to run against Kılıçdaroğlu.
CHP Istanbul deputy Umut Oran, a former deputy chair of the party who at the time harshly criticized Kılıçdaroğlu after he removed him from his post during a reshuffle at the Central Executive Board (MYK), released a written statement in support of the idea of holding of an extraordinary convention.
“The CHP is a phoenix and it is time for [the CHP] to be reborn from its ashes,” Oran said Aug. 19.
During a 2008 convention, Oran had run against Kılıçdaroğlu’s predecessor Deniz Baykal, who was eventually reelected.
In the Central Anatolian province of Nevşehir, 78 of the CHP’s provincial chairs announced their support for Kılıçdaroğlu in a joint declaration released yesterday. However, these provinces did not include Düzce, Isparta and Yalova
Kılıçdaroğlu’s competitor İnce has been serving as the CHP’s Yalova deputy since 2002.