Opposition leader faces challenge at party congress

Turkish opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s rival Muharrem İnce has collected sufficient support from delegates to challenge him for the leadership at the congress of his Republican People’s Party (CHP), secular newspaper Hürriyet said.

İnce, who still looks a clear outsider in the race, is seen to represent a more nationalistic side of the party.

Kılıçdaroğlu also called on the government to negotiate with the Syrian government.

“I am making an open and clear call to the government,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. “Get immediately in touch with the Syrian government. If Syria’s territorial integrity is to be secured, it needs to establish relations with the Syrian state.”

With an empty chair next to him to symbolise the party’s jailed parliamentarian Enis Berberoğlu, Kılıçdaroğlu said that the main five problems plaguing Turkey were terror, justice, education, foreign policy and democracy, and urged party members to focus on them.

Surveys in Turkey regularly cite the economy and unemployment as other important problems the country faces.