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Erdogan names nationalist candidate to run for Ankara mayoral election

 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan named Thursday Turgut Altinok, the incumbent mayor of Ankara’s Kecioren district, as his candidate for the upcoming Ankara mayoral election.

In the crucial elections scheduled for March, Altinok will run against the incumbent mayor of the capital city, Mansur Yavas, from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).

Altinok is a former member of the hard-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which had allied with Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in elections.

The AKP seeks to win back control of Türkiye’s big cities from the CHP in the nationwide municipal elections on March 31 after losing the capital Ankara and the largest city Istanbul to the CHP in the 2019 elections.

Earlier this month, Erdogan named his former environment minister, Murat Kurum, as the AKP’s candidate for the Istanbul mayoral election.

Meanwhile, he named Hamza Dag, AKP’s deputy chairman, as his party’s candidate for the western Izmir city.

The president announced his candidates in all cities, except for seven, where his party will support its alliance partner MHP. The president also revealed that district candidates would be announced as of Jan. 20, beginning with Istanbul. ■

Famagusta Gazette