A few days after a rift, an opposition alliance against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reunited in Turkey for the time being. The head of the national-conservative Iyi party, Meral Aksener, surprisingly attended a meeting with five other parties in Ankara on Monday, although she had only terminated the cooperation on Friday. Bystanders applauded when she arrived for the session.
The reason for the dispute was the question of who should run against Erdogan in the presidential elections planned for May 14. The largest opposition party, the CHP, wanted to nominate its party leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, and was supported by four smaller parties. Aksener made it clear that she did not support it because she believed the opposition leader had a poor chance of winning. She wanted to nominate popular Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu or Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavas. Both CHP politicians do better in polls than their party leader.
According to the Iyi party, a compromise has now been found: Kilicdaroglu is to be nominated as a candidate as planned, and the two mayors are to be appointed vice presidents if they win the election. The official announcement of the joint opposition candidate was expected on Monday evening.
Aksener's departure from the alliance had caused great excitement in the opposition. She was mainly criticized for the sharpness of her statements. She had said, for example, that the choice between Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu was "between death and malaria". To what extent the dispute has damaged the alliance is not yet clear.