Turkey's main opposition party to form union for its mayors

The Association of Social Democrat Municipalities, of which all opposition People's Republican Party (CHP) municipalities are members, is set to establish a union, opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet reported on Monday.

The platform will be structured as an employer's union and all CHP mayors will be members, according to Cumhuriyet. The union will aim to enhance communication between mayors and develop services provided by local governments, the daily said.

CHP vice chairman in charge of local administrations, Seyit Torun, is leading preparations for the establishment of the union.

The Islamist ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its far-right ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) are preparing to form a similar union structure of their own, Cumhuriyet said.

Although the governing AKP won an overall majority in Turkey’s local elections, the CHP gained significant victories in most of Turkey’s largest cities, including Istanbul and Ankara, both of which had been under control of AKP and its predecessors for 25 years.