Turkish main opposition CHP kicks off weekly provincial visits with eastern Erzurum

Turkey's main opposition CHP is holding its weekly group meetings in different provinces as of this week with the Parliament going into a recess until October. The first stop of the party was the eastern province of Erzurum.

This photo shows CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (L) shaking hands with a shopkeeper in Erzurum.

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Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and his lawmakers have launched weekly provincial visits in an attempt to listen to the problems of people. Until the Parliament reopens after a summer recess back in October, the party will hold its parliamentary group meetings on Tuesdays in different provinces. 

The first stop of the party was the eastern Erzurum province, which saw the attendance of Kılıçdaroğlu and 120 CHP lawmakers. 

“Was this ancient city the starting point of the Independence War? Yes. Was [founder of modern Turkey] Mustafa Kemal Atatürk a deputy of Erzurum? Yes. Erzurum has a special place both in Turkey and the CHP’s history,” Kılıçdaroğlu said during the party group meeting in Erzurum on Aug. 2.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had received 54.8 percent of the votes in the 2018 general elections in Erzurum, whereas the CHP had only garnered a support level of 4.4 percent.

Commenting on why they chose Erzurum as the first province for their weekly visits, CHP deputy leader Bülent Kuşoğlu said that Erzurum is one of the provinces where the support level for the party is quite low. "The elections are coming. We need to focus on the Black Sea and Central Anatolian provinces. Erzurum is a city where we do not even have a municipality," Kuşoğlu said.

CHP lawmakers plan to roam around the city and listen to the problems of the people during their weekly visits. Accordingly, they visited shops and cafes in the city center and districts of Erzurum on Aug. 2. 

Afterwards, they got on an evening flight back to the capital Ankara on the same day.