Erdoğan ally declares support for Özel against İmamoğlu in possible CHP leadership change

MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli has said that he will support CHP lawmaker Özgür Özel against Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu if they both stand as candidates for the CHP leadership. The two CHP heavyweights have been emphasizing the need for a change in party leadership, with both previously saying that they will not hesitate to take on any responsibility to accomplish this.

Duvar English

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has commented on the debate surrounding the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP)’s leadership and said that he will support CHP parliamentary group leader Özgür Özel against Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu if CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu leaves the post.

Bahçeli made the comments on July 25 following an extraordinary meeting of the parliament which was held to discuss the recent exorbitant increases in taxes.

Bahçeli said that Özel made a very striking speech at the General Assembly and his enthusiasm made it look as if it was a party electoral congress.

“It was like a speech similar made at a congress (referring to the CHP’s general congress to be held later this year). In that regard, I asked myself; if my classmate at the CHP does not continue (referring to Kılıçdaroğlu), I would say Özgür against Kılıçdaoğlu,” Bahçeli said.

Amid demands for Kılıçdaroğlu’s resignation from the party leadership, both İmamoğlu and Özel said that they would not hesitate to “take on responsibility” so that a change takes place within the CHP.

The two CHP heavyweights were both in the Zoom meeting held last week which had a purpose of collecting signatures to summon the CHP Party Assembly for an extraordinary meeting. After finding out about the meeting, the CHP management criticized it as “unethical, at odds with party hierarchy, and against our party traditions.”