Mustafa Sarıgul, the popular mayor of Sisli, one of Istanbul's busiest districts, has announced that he will return to Turkish main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) ahead of key municipal elections slated for March next year.
Sarıgul’s return to the party is expected to boost its chances of winning Istanbul municipal race, the most important and competitive seat in next year’s election.
Sarıgul, whose name has been mentioned in connection to the Istanbul mayoral post for years, was expelled from the party in the past. To run on behalf of the CHP, Sarıgul first needed to become a member, which requires the removal of the disciplinary action that led to his expulsion from the party for defying then-party leader Deniz Baykal.
Sarıgul earlier signaled his possible candidacy but has yet to officially announce that he will run for the Istanbul mayorship. Observers believe that Sarıgul's candidacy will make it harder for the incumbent Justice and Development Party (AK Party) to be re-elected but the AK Party officials dismissed claims that the ruling party could lose to Sarıgül.
On Saturday, CHP leader Kemal Kılıcdaroglu invited Sarıgul and Turkey Change Movement (TDH) that he founded to join the party.
Sarıgul and CHP official Adnan Keskin spoke to reporters on Thursday after their bilateral meeting in İstanbul. Keskin said “we are celebrating Sarıgul’s return to the party” without directly saying that the Sisli mayor returned to the party.
Sarıgul also avoided to explicitly say that he will join the party but said “our chairman” when he referred to Kılıçdaroğlu.
CihanLast Mod: 31 Ekim 2013, 16:40