Turkey’s opposition Peoples’ Equality and Democracy (DEM) Party Co-Chair Tuncer Bakırhan on Jan. 23 stated that they would consider Başak Demirtaş’s Istanbul mayoral candidacy in the upcoming Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting in a few days.
Answering the questions of journalists after his party’s parliamentary group meeting, Bakırhan said “Our candidate applications continue everywhere. We have a MYK meeting in a few days. We will evaluate them there.”
Despite meeting with main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Özgür Özel twice, the party leaders have not announced an official collaboration for the upcoming local elections yet.
Başak Demirtaş, wife of imprisoned Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş, on Jan. 21 stated that she was open to becoming the DEM Party’s Istanbul mayoral candidate should the people and the party decide to field her.
So far, current mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and former Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have declared their candidacies for Istanbul in the municipal elections to be held on March 31.
In the 2019 local elections, the İYİ Party and pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) did not field mayoral candidates for Istanbul and Ankara metropolitan municipalities, leading to a AKP and CHP race which ended in a CHP victory.