Opposition leaders Kılıçdaroğlu and Akşener hold meeting after rumors of dispute

CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu and İYİ Party leader Akşener have held a meeting in capital Ankara after rumors of dispute mainly on who will be the presidential candidate for the upcoming elections. No official statements were released after the meeting.

Duvar English

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and opposition Good (İYİ) Party leader Meral Akşener held a meeting on Dec. 27 in the capital Ankara.

The move came after the rumors that there is a crack between two leaders.

While there are rumors that Good (İYİ) Party leader Meral Akşener favors CHP’s Istanbul Mayor İmamoğlu instead of Kılıçdaroğlu, some senior CHP figures claimed that Kılıçdaroğlu will be their candidate against Erdoğan.

The meeting lasted for two hours and 15 minutes, and no official statements were released thereafter.

One CHP executive told Gazete Duvar that the meeting was held in a “positive atmosphere.”

Akşener told YetkinReport on Dec. 28 that the Table of Six will not be dissolved.

Akşener also talked about her support for İmamoğlu, especially after he was sentenced to prison and a political ban was imposed on him.

A Turkish court on Dec. 14 sentenced Mayor İmamoğlu from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) to two years and seven months in prison on charges of “insulting” 11 members of Turkey's High Election Board (YSK). The court also imposed a political ban on İmamoğlu, a popular rival to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, which must be confirmed by an appeals court before application.

After the conviction, İmamoğlu called all his supporters to Saraçhane district in Istanbul at 4 p.m. in local time, where the municipality’s building is located. 

Akşener was the first political leader to accept İmamoğlu’s call, coming from the capital Ankara. Kılıçdaroğlu at the time was in Germany for a visit, and was able to come back to Saraçhane during the night after cutting short his visit.

Kılıçdaroğlu's visit to Germany on the same day as the final hearing of İmamoğlu's case was widely criticized.

Akşener told YetkinReport that “I can't understand how the discussion evolved into me stealing the role while İmamoğlu (might be replaced by a trustee mayor), I was surprised. I went there to show unity and solidarity as a part of the opposition. I was disrespected (because of the debates).”

Akşener said they will discuss the presidential candidate during the Table of Six meetings.

Nowadays, people who favor İmamoğlu and people who favor Kılıçdaroğlu for the candidacy severely argue with each other on social media. These arguments were interpreted as the opposition bloc’s inability to unite.

Lately, Kılıçdaroğlu said that it is the Table of Six that will choose the presidential candidate and that he will accept to run for presidency if six leaders agree upon him. Akşener is also an important part of the Table of Six as her party got the second most votes in the last election among six parties after the CHP.

“Table of Six” is the name of alliance of the six opposition parties that are united to change Turkey’s presidential regime to “strengthened parliamentary system”, consisting the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), centre-right İYİ (Good) Party, Islamist Felicity (Saadet) Party, Democrat Party (DP), DEVA (Democracy and Progress) Party and Future (Gelecek) Party.

Before this alliance reached six parties, CHP, İYİ Party, Felicity Party and Democrat Party founded the political and electoral alliance, the Nation Alliance, back in 2018. The other two parties, Future Party and DEVA, both founded by former high-level AKP officials, are now among the opposition ranks.