CHP mayoral candidate calls independent opponent with same name ‘dirty ruse’

Ahmet Akın, Balıkesir mayoral candidate from Turkey’s main opposition CHP, stated an independent opponent of the same name was running as part of a “dirty ruse” by the ruling AKP to confuse voters and split votes in the swing province. 

Two Ahmet Akıns will run for Balıkesir Mayor in the local elections: one as independent candidate (L), one from the CHP (R).

Duvar English

Ahmet Akın, Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) mayoral candidate for the northwestern Balıkesir province, on Feb. 28 condemned an opponent of the same name as a “dirty ruse” by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) members to sabotage him in the upcoming local elections.

It was revealed that another Ahmet Akın would appear on the ballots for the March 31 local elections in Balıkesir, this one an independent candidate with no party affiliation.  

Opponent Akın has not engaged with the public and has no social media presence. He was not known in local circles in any political capacity, according to reporting by the online news outlet Serbesiyet. 

As reporters dug deeper to find opponent Akın, they revealed him to be working as a night shift server at the Kanaat Restaurant, a well-known local joint. 

Other restaurant workers have stated that Akın has not been to work for the last three weeks. They added that Akın had no prior political experience to their knowledge.  

CHP’s Akın interpreted the mysterious name-fellow as the AKP’s sabotage attempt and was “borne out of fear.” “They have concocted a plan that would even stump the devil,” commented Akın. He believed the Balıkesir voter would not be deceived by such “basic trickery.” 

The CHP supported the opposition ally nationalist İYİ (Good) Party’s candidate in Balıkesir for the 2019 local elections, who lost to AKP by a one percent margin. The party is competing intensely to take over the municipality from AKP in this election.

As the alliance fell through after the 2023 general election, İYİ Party fielded Turhan Çömez as its candidate for the metropolitan municipality. His votes will be decisive in the race for mayor where current mayor Yücel Yılmaz of the AKP runs against Ahmet Akın of the CHP. 

The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Equality and Democracy (DEM) Party has also nominated two candidates for co-mayorship in the province. 

In the general elections, AKP received 34.34 percent of the votes, CHP garnered 31.74 percent, and İYİ 14.98 percent.