Islamist party signals cooperation with main opposition ahead of local elections

The leader of Islamist Felicity Party (FP) Temel Karamollaoğlu met with Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on Monday, announcing that the two parties could be ''in close contact'' heading into the country’s 2019 local elections, independent news site T24 reported.

The meeting between the two leaders at the CHP headquarters in Ankara arrives as the country’s parties search for alliances to strengthen their presence at the polls on March 31, 2019.

Turkey’s leading Justice and Development Party (AKP) has once again joined forces with far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), with the latter announcing that it will supporting AKP candidates in the critical cities of Ankara, İstanbul and İzmir.

The leading AKP, which formed an alliance with the MHP in the June parliamentary elections, won 18 out of 30 metropolitan municipalities in the 2014 local elections with 60 percent of the votes, while the MHP won merely three metropolitan municipalities, receiving 10 percent of the votes.

The meeting between the Felicity and CHP leaders follows a Sunday meeting between Kılıçdaroğlu and center-right Good (İYİ) Party leader Meral Akşener, whose party founded in 2017 is set to run in the local elections for the first time.