Turkey: CHP names Ankara, Istanbul mayoral candidates

Main opposition CHP candidates for Ankara and Istanbul mayor revealed by party leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu

Turkey: CHP names Ankara, Istanbul mayoral candidates

By Mehmet Tosun


Turkey's main opposition party on Tuesday announced its candidates for mayor in the key cities of Ankara and Istanbul for elections next March.

Republican People's Party (CHP) head Kemal Kilicdaroglu nominated Mansur Yavas for mayor of the capital Ankara in the upcoming polls -- his second time seeking the post for the main opposition.

For the commercial capital Istanbul -- a city almost one-fifth of Turkey's 80 million citizens call home -- the party will field Ekrem Imamoglu, Kilicdaroglu said. 

Turkey's local elections are scheduled for March 31, 2019.

Yavas is a former Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) member and, from 1999 to 2009, served as mayor of Beypazari, one of Ankara's largest districts.

In 2009, running for Ankara mayor under the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) banner, Yavas won 25 percent of the vote, but lost to Melih Gokcek, the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party candidate. 

In 2014 Yavas ran under the CHP banner, and won 43.81 percent of the vote, but again narrowly lost to Gokcek, Ankara's long-running mayor.

Gokcek stepped down in October 2017.

As a CHP member, Imamoglu has served as mayor of Istanbul’s Beylikduzu district since 2014.

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