Turkey’s main opposition party loses another parliamentarian

Turkish main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) lawmaker Teoman Sancar resigned, becoming the fourth deputy to step down in a little over a month.

Sancar, a lawmaker for the western Denizli province, announced his resignation via Twitter on Sunday. He did not specify a reason for the decision.

Some CHP politicians have become uncomfortable about the direction of party policy under leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu as he sought to transform the CHP from a leftist nationalist group into a mainstream movement able to appeal to more conservative voters and democrats.

On Jan.29, CHP lawmakers Mehmet Ali Çelebi, Özcan Özel and Hüseyin Aksoy said they were leaving the party in a press briefing held in parliament. Muharrem İnce, a former lawmaker and the CHP’s presidential candidate in 2018 elections, said on Jan.31 that former parliamentarians would establish a new political group, Diken news website reported.

Kılıçdaroğlu has also sought to gain support among the Kurds by defending their ethnic rights and has criticised a crackdown on the country’s main pro-Kurdish political party, swaying from party traditions. The party’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, once labelled the Kurds as “Turkish mountain people”.

“CHP had been wavering when it comes to national matters,” Çelebi said as he stepped down, news website Artı Gerçek reported.

The CHP now has 135 deputies in the 600-seat parliament.

 

 

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