With just seven months left until Türkiye’s local elections, the opposition remains focused on assigning blame for their election defeat. One might argue that properly reflecting on what happened in May 2023 would benefit the new alliance model. Yet, commentators close to the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) make accusations against the alliance’s right-wing members, whose spokespeople make negative remarks about the alliance – which hardly amounts to meaningful analysis. If anything, the current debate threatens to alienate non-ideological voters, whom the opposition attempted to win over to secure a simple majority.
One might reasonably expect the "change" debate within the Republican People’s Party (CHP) to die down since Ekrem Imamoğlu, the mayor of Istanbul, announced his decision to seek reelection in next year’s municipal elections – instead of running for CHP chairperson. The main opposition party continues to elect its provincial delegates yet it seems almost certain that Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the incumbent, will be able to keep his job with no major problems. That is why he should find it easier to set his party’s agenda, but the CHP will presumably remain preoccupied with internal confrontations.
Whereas Imamoğlu’s decision de-escalated tensions around the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairperson Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and the main opposition party, pro-opposition columnists curiously interpreted that move as a challenge to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. It goes without saying that any politician would enjoy being compared to the Turkish leader, who has been in charge for 21 years and just secured another five years in office. By the same token, opposition leaders tend to criticize Erdoğan as part of their job, enjoying (openly or secretly) whenever he talks about them in his public appearances.
The opposition seems unable to recover from its most recent election defeat. If anything, the ongoing crisis gives way to destruction. Having formed a "grand coalition" before the May 2023 elections, the "table for six" parties find it difficult to even analyze why they lost.
Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoğlu took the stage in the final act of the "change" debate within the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP). Issuing a call to action on social media, he essentially argued that the Turkish people demand “a change of CHP’s leadership and management in terms of generation and vision.” Imamoğlu’s emphasis on “youth” was a thinly veiled jab at the party’s 74-year-old chairperson, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.