DSP’s decision to support Erdoğan causes crack within party

Democratic Left Party (DSP) chair Önder Aksakal on April 7 announced that the party will support President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and enter the elections under the AKP deputy list. Aksakal’s announcement caused a crack within the party, with the Trabzon Provincial Organization calling the move a “betrayal” and DSP Vice Chair Onur İste resigning from his post.

DSP leader Önder Aksakal (L) shakes hands with AKP MP Binali Yıldırım on April 7.

Duvar English

The Democratic Left Party (DSP)’s decision to support President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and nominate deputy candidates from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)’s lists has caused a crack within the party.

The DSP’s Trabzon Provincial Organization slammed the decision, calling it a "betrayal to the legacy" of DSP founder and former Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit as well as "to the country."

The head of the DSP Trabzon office, Hadiye Solmaz, told Gazete Duvar: “We will not abide by this decision as the Trabzon organization. I do not think that any DSP voters will abide by this decision. The headquarters’ stance does not concern me or the provincial organization. I would never support such a decision.”

Solmaz said that they will support the opposition Nation Alliance’s candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu in the May 14 elections. “We, in Trabzon, in the presidential elections, will certainly support Mr. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu for our country. We have no other solution to change this country’s situation. The country is at stake right now. Any other option other than Kılıçdaroğlu is a betrayal,” she said.

Meanwhile, DSP Vice Chair Onur İste announced his resignation on Twitter. “Dear friends, I am always at the place I stand. As per this, I resign from the DSP vice chairmanship position as of today, which I carried out with pride until now,” he said.

Earlier on April 7, DSP chair Önder Aksakal said that they would support Erdoğan and would be represented in the Parliament, after paying a visit to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) headquarters.

“The DSP’s existence is based on Turkey’s indivisible unity and protection of the first four articles in the constitution until the end. The DSP has a state experience. We have formed our opinion in the way of supporting our President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,” Aksaksal said.

Asked if the party would enter the elections with its logo, Aksakal said: “No, we are not entering the elections. We will take place in the Parliament under the AKP lists.”

Meanwhile, former 74 DSP ministers and deputies on April 7 expressed their support for Kılıçdaroğlu, according to reporting by the online news outlet Evrensel. The announcement was made by former DSP Samsun deputy Tarık Cengiz who criticized the party's current management.

"We today see that the DSP's current management is making negotiations for the sake of a couple of (parliamentary) seats. Those who walked in Ecevit's path will give their support to Mr. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu until the end," he said.