Fears of violence rise as Turkish presidential candidates announced

Mohamed Hafez , AP , Saturday 1 Apr 2023

An attack on the headquarters of the Good Party, a member of the opposition Nation Alliance, on Friday has raised concerns about campaign violence in Turkey's upcoming elections.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a joint press conference with Hungarian President following their meeting at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, on March 29, 2023. AFP


Two bullets were fired at the building in Istanbul.

The incident occurred as the official list of presidential candidates was unveiled, featuring four contenders.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who established the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2001 and has held various political affiliations, is running for the People's Alliance.

Opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the Republican People's Party (CHP) leader, positions himself as a successor to modern Turkey's founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and leads the Nation Alliance, which comprises six parties.

Mahir Unal, a former CHP member, established the Kingdom Party in 2021 with a nationalist secular ideology after splitting from the CHP. He has been elected to parliament several times and ran as the CHP's presidential candidate in 2018.

Sunan Ogan, a candidate for the nationalist ATA Alliance, was born in Azerbaijan and holds a doctorate from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.

Erdogan faces a 10 percent deficit in the polls on the first day of campaigning, attributed to public dissatisfaction with the government's response to a February earthquake that killed over 50,000 people and displaced millions.

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