As the local elections draw near, political parties accelerated their work on deciding their mayoral candidates. The CHP (Republican People’s Party) is holding field surveys for candidates while Erdoğan and the central administration of the AKP (Justice and Development Party) are preparing to nominate previous political figures as candidates in the local elections.

Cengiz Aldemir

With roughly 6 months left for the elections, the names of the candidates are already being talked out loud in Ankara offstage. The CHP administration, which has been working on voter tendencies for about a month, is busy with field surveys based on 50 questions as to which candidate could win in which constituency. The results of the survey will be put on the table in the CHP meeting to be held in Abant on September 26-30.

DOES CHP HAVE A FEMALE CANDIDATE FOR ÇANKAYA?

Behind the scenes, such figures as Gürsel Tekin, Akif Hamzaçebi, Oğuz Kaan Salıcı and Umut Oran are mentioned among those who could run for Istanbul mayor for CHP. In addition, it is said that candidates from outside the party are also possible. CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu is carrying out a rigorous study on candidates for İstanbul, İzmir and Ankara Metropolitan Mayors. CHP administration, which does not want to reveal those names for the time being, is preparing, for the first time, to nominate a woman for mayor of Çankaya, one of the leading districts for the party. Another offstage news is that Tezcan Karakuş Candan, head of Chamber of Architects Ankara Branch, may be presented as a candidate too. Candan, who is known to be among Kılıçdaroğlu’s favorite candidates as an urban planner with a combative character, proceeded against the decisions of, and prevented many faulty projects by, Melih Gökçek, former Ankara Metropolitan Mayor, who was removed from office by Erdoğan.

Tezcan Karakuş Candan

KOCAOĞLU: CHP’S CANDIDATE FOR IZMIR ONCE AGAIN

According to unverified information, Aziz Kocaoğlu is to run for CHP’s Izmir mayor again, while Tunç Soyer, Mayor of Seferihisar, has also become a leading figure for the same candidacy. CHP’s candidate for Metropolitan Mayor of Muğla is said to be the incumbent mayor Osman Gürün, while Ömer Süha Aldan, CHP’s previous Muğla MP, Oral Karakaya, Secretary General of Tekirdağ Municipality and Ceyhun İrgil, Bursa MP, are also among possible candidates. İstemihan Talay is suggested as candidate for Metropolitan Mayor of Mersin, and Ahmet Akın for Metropolitan Mayor of Balıkesir. While the process of deciding on the candidates for several province and district mayors still continues, Hıdır Bellice, Head of Chamber of Merchants and Craftsmen, is already among those nominated for the mayor of Tunceli.

AK PARTI IS TO DECIDE ON THE CANDIDATES EARLIER

The AK Parti, on the other hand, will decide on their mayoral candidates earlier compared to previous local elections, thus enabling them to work harder and have contact with the electorate on the field. The Ak Parti will severe ties with some mayors, depending on the results. The most important criterion in this will be the party’s surveys as well as mayors’ performances in establishing close ties with the public. It is alleged that Erdoğan will not nominate shady and worn-out names as well as present MPs, concentrating instead on previous MPs when choosing candidates.

DAVUTOĞLU, SOYLU AND PAKDEMİRLİ

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is working with some leading figures from the party administration on candidates to be chosen. The party has discussed in detail some surprising names as well as previous politicians as candidates in the local elections. The rumor has it that former PM Ahmet Davutoğlu is being considered as candidate for Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor and Süleyman Soylu, Interior Minister, as candidate for Ankara Metropolitan Mayor. While the candidacy of Bekir Pakdemirli for İzmir Metropolitan Mayor is almost a certainty, such names as Nuh Dağdelen, the party’s provincial head, and Murat Çaykara, member of Provincial Assembly, are also on the shortlist. It is said that the incumbent mayor Mehmet Saygılı is among the candidates for Kırıkkale, while Faruk Çelik, previous Minister of Agriculture, will be nominated for Bursa mayor.

Translation: Fahri Öz