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The Polite Person In Opposition

The Opposition forces have chosen Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (b. December 17, 1948) as their leader in order to throw a strong challenge to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (b. February 26, 1954) ahead of the Presidential and Parliamentary Polls, scheduled to be held on June 18, 2023.

Kemal, the 74-year-old Turkish economist, retired civil servant, Social Democratic politician and the leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), is popularly known as Turkey’s Gandhi. He has been serving as the Leader of the Main Opposition since 2010. The CHP is a Centre-Left party, ideologically.

The Coalition of Opposition parties is fully prepared to overthrow the two-decade-long authoritarian regime of Erdoğan. Hence, the parties in Opposition have projected secular Kemal as their leader. All the six Opposition parties have unanimously announced the name of Kemal as their candidate for the upcoming Presidential Elections. Soon after the announcement in this regard by the Opposition alliance, a section of the citizens started expecting some fundamental changes in National Politics. Kemal has stressed that he would try to run the Government with the consent of all sections of people, and to ensure overall development of Turkey.

Leaders of the Opposition parties believe that there is no politically better candidate in Turkey than Kemal against Erdoğan, a far-right President known for his fiery rhetoric. According to Opposition leaders, Kemal is a craftsman of Nationalist Politics, like Mahatma Gandhi (October 2, 1869 – January 30, 1948), the Anti-Colonial Nationalist and Political Ethicist who had employed Non-violent Resistance to lead the successful campaign for India’s Independence from British Rule, apart from inspiring Movements for Civil Rights and Freedom across the globe. Meanwhile, they have admitted that Kemal has a tough fight ahead of him.

It may be noted that Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881 – November 10, 1938), the founding father of the Republic of Turkey, had founded the CHP on September 9, 1923. However, the oldest political outfit of Turkey is currently the main Opposition party and the second largest party in the Grand National Assembly with 135 members, behind the ruling conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Erdoğan. Kemal, who is also known as a Left-Wing economist, became a member of the National Assembly in 2002 for the first time, and took charge of the CHP in 2010. Hard-working and soft-spoken, Kemal is called the Gandhi of Turkey because of his polite nature.

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