YRP, YSP’s independent run spurs third-way debate in Turkish politics

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Following in the Good Party’s (IP) footsteps, the New Welfare Party (YRP) and the pro-PKK Green …
  • With the 2024 municipal elections just 53 days away, the People’s Alliance has momentum, while the opposition parties have failed to form alliances. The main opposition, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), built electoral alliances in 2019 and 2023. This time around, it has no choice but to collaborate with the pro-PKK Green Left Party (YSP), informally known as the Peoples' Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party), which succeeded the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), in some provinces. It is no secret that the potential partnership between the CHP and YSP in Istanbul would be facilitated by Mayor Ekrem Imamoğlu – which would open him up to criticism from the People’s Alliance, as well as the Good Party (IP). Meanwhile, Başak Demirtaş’s seeming interest in running for mayor suggests that the CHP might have to campaign alone in Istanbul. She is, of course, the wife of jailed ex-HDP Chairperson Selahattin Demirtaş. Such a development would make “grassroots as opposed to intraparty cooperation” the only option on the table, but the main opposition party has been handling the situation in a very fragmented and counterproductive manner.
  • 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.
  • Over the past few months, the Republican People's Party (CHP) has been working toward convincing the Good Party (IP) to join forces ahead of next year's municipal elections. Local leaders who happen to be part of the municipal ecosystem in Istanbul and Ankara support some type of collaboration.

Bu Konuda Daha Fazla

  • Türkiye’s governing alliance pays no attention to the opposition and prepares for next year’s local elections. The resulting political void is filled by a showdown between and within the opposition alliance’s members. As new details about past negotiations and disappointments surface in the media, the opposition continues to bleed internally.

  • The CHP chairperson holds the upper hand because he controls the majority of party delegates. Accordingly, he can get reelected comfortably and handpick mayoral candidates. Yet, the leaked Zoom meeting suggests that Kılıçdaroğlu must sack a large number of CHP executives. By contrast, Imamoğlu needs to step into the arena.

  • With Türkiye’s transition to a presidential system in April 2017, after a historic referendum that saw 51.4% of the votes cast in favor of the new system, political parties in Türkiye immediately began to adapt to the new system. The presidential system, which requires candidates to win an absolute majority of first-round votes, forged pre-election alliances. It became clear to all opposition parties, led by the Republican People’s Party (CHP), that on their own they could not defeat Erdoğan or the AK Party (Justice and Development Party) under Erdoğan’s leadership?

  • Everyone seems to agree that Türkiye will make a “critically important choice at a historic crossroads” on May 14. That makes us expect an election campaign where each candidate and their parties will speak their truths. Do not be fooled by the ongoing calmness, as electoral alliances have been trying to expand and negotiate candidate lists in the month of Ramadan.

  • Political parties in Türkiye are working hard to finalize their candidate lists by the April 9 deadline. The relevant committees probably find it more difficult to select candidates today than ever. The already-complex selection process is further complicated by electoral alliances producing joint lists in certain districts and trying to predict how those decisions may influence the allocation of parliamentary seats.