CHP in-house debate over mayoral candidates

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has found itself in an internal spat over some mayoral candidates, especially in the districts of Istanbul, prompting the resignation of some senior party figures.

The CHP's Party Assembly, under the leadership of Chairman Özgür Özel, held lengthy evaluations on Feb. 12 before announcing some more mayoral candidates for the March 31 municipal polls. These included four cities and 11 districts, mainly from Istanbul.

CHP MP Veli Ağbaba will run for the mayoral post in Malatya, a central Anatolian town, Zekai Sana for the Black Sea coastal town of Ordu, Murat Molu for the central Anatolian province of Kayseri and Abdurrahman Tutdere for Adıyaman, one of the earthquake-hit provinces in the southeastern Anatolia.

The CHP party council has also announced the figures who will run for the remaining 11 districts of Istanbul, including Kadıköy, Bakırköy, the Princes' Islands, Sarıyer, Esenyurt and Avcılar. Six current mayors from these districts have not been renominated, including Kadıköy, triggering a reaction within the party's provincial organizations. A long-term senior party official, Gürsel Tekin, announced his resignation from the CHP on early Feb. 13.

Some party members protested the decisions late on Feb. 12 as they rallied in front of the CHP's Istanbul headquarters. The protests continued on Feb. 13 during a ceremony held by Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu for the promotion of all 39 district candidates of Istanbul.

"We, at the CHP, have a culture of protest. [Protestors] can hang their posters and share their views. This is CHP," İmamoğlu said at the meeting while trying to calm down the protestors. "If you can use your liberty to protest here, this is because of the democratic...

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