Özel and Kılıçdaroğlu's 'political' showdown

The Republican People's Party's (CHP) current and previous leaders are fighting over the kind of politics that the movement should embrace in the future.

Özel and Kılıçdaroğlu's 'political' showdown
How long will CHP Chair Özgür Özel's new politics last

How long will CHP Chair Özgür Özel's new politics last?

Since taking over as chairperson of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), Özgür Özel has notably distanced himself from his "polemicist" style of his tenure as minority whip. Many wonder why the new Republican leader, who adopted this approach prior to the March 31 municipal elections and remained committed to it thereafter, is doing what he is doing and how long he intends to do it.


As Türkiye’s political parties and leaders analyze the municipal election results, it remains unclear what Turkish politics will look like in this new period. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paid due respect to the people’s choice on election night, making an inclusive statement that encouraged the opposition to speak responsibly.

The municipal election campaign of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has been riddled with crises, and I am not talking about their various statements that have become the subject of controversy. For example, this is not about the CHP chairperson’s remarks about Turkish citizens who paid for their exemption from military service or Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoğlu’s comments on housewives.

Following in the Good Party’s (IP) footsteps, the New Welfare Party (YRP) and the pro-PKK Green Left Party (YSP), informally known as the Peoples' Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party), decided to field their own candidates, as opposed to joining an alliance, for the upcoming municipal election – an emerging trend that creates a political landscape where the "third-way" debate is expected to gain prominence anew.

The new year got off to an extremely busy start in Türkiye.

CHP, counterterrorism and two-pronged discourse

Twelve Turkish soldiers lost their lives earlier this week in an attack by the terrorist organization PKK in northern Iraq. I offer my condolences to their families and the nation.

CHP counterterrorism and two-pronged discourse
Alliances and campaigns ahead of Türkiye's local elections

Alliances and campaigns ahead of Türkiye's local elections

The municipal election campaign in Türkiye kicked off with a debate on alliances and cooperation. It seems that the People’s Alliance will campaign for the March 31, 2024 elections similarly to the 2019 and 2023 elections following a meeting between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairperson Devlet Bahçeli.


The Good Party (IP) is trying to deal with resignations, an inquiry into the financial affairs of its chairperson’s family members, and allegations of missing funds and harassment.

The Good Party (IP) took another step toward contesting next year’s municipal elections without joining any alliance as Kürşad Zorlu, the movement’s spokesperson, announced their decision to field mayoral candidates in all 81 provinces. As such, IP Chairperson Meral Akşener shut the door on a potential alliance with the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) – at least for now.

Türkiye’s opposition parties continue to reflect on last month’s elections. The pro-opposition Nation Alliance has temporarily disbanded as its members remain preoccupied with their internal debates.

With nearly 50 days left until the Turkish elections, the People’s Alliance and the Nation Alliance are doing everything possible to win the Presidency in the first round.

CHP Chair Kılıçdaroğlu will not be able to avoid being the target of the agenda, whether he is a candidate or not

The level of ambiguity seems to increase as that debate continues, mainly because the Turkish opposition bloc, known as the 'table for six,' is in a challenging and contradictory pursuit

The pro-PKK HDP strengthened its hand vis-à-vis the 'table for six' by opting to field its own presidential candidate

The main opposition leader Kılıçdaroğlu wants to use 'the system' and 'the table’s endorsement' to his current profile as 'the most obvious candidate'

Distribution of parliamentary seats could encourage various players to work closer together, and the opposition fielding multiple candidates would actually benefit the People’s Alliance

CHP head Kılıçdaroğlu revealed the main opposition’s development plan. Ahead of that announcement, he raised expectations by claiming that he would 'unveil a vision to end the crisis forever'

'If the opposition were to win the 2023 elections, what will be the center of gravity in Turkish politics? Will the country’s political arena be organized around the CHP and the HDP or the CHP and the Good Party?'

In truth, the question at hand goes beyond that. This is about who would make crucial political decisions (and how) if the opposition bloc were to win next year’s elections.

The million-dollar question in Turkish politics is whether the opposition bloc – known as the 'table for six'– should stay together or disband.