Turkish main opposition switches Istanbul chief

Former Turkish foreign minister takes new CHP role; tells reporters: 'Solving Istanbul's problems is a ladder that leads to solving Turkey's problems.'

Former Turkish foreign minister takes new CHP role; tells reporters: 'Solving Istanbul's problems is a ladder that leads to solving Turkey's problems.'

ISTANBUL – The new provincial chairman of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party in Istanbul has said problems connected to urban transformation in the city will spearhead the CHP’s campaign in next year’s general elections.

Former Turkish foreign minister and new CHP provincial chairman Murat Karayalcin took office on Wednesday, revealing that he had abandoned plans to run as a member of parliament for the capital, Ankara, to focus on Turkey’s largest city instead.

"I will be an Istanbulite from now on. I have renounced my MP nomination plans in Ankara for the upcoming 2015 general elections for the benefit of the party," said Karayalcin on Thursday in a speech at the CHP’s Istanbul Provincial Branch.

Stating that CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu called on him to take the post, Karayalcin said: "We are not only working for the party's interest, we are also working for interest of the whole country."

"The urban transformation, which is the main problem of the city, will be high on my agenda. Solving Istanbul's problems is a ladder that leads to solving Turkey's problems," he added.

A former Turkish foreign minister and deputy prime minister between 1993 and 1995 in the coalition government of the Social Democrat People's Party (SHP) and True Path Party (DYP), Karayalcin had been also Ankara mayor between 1989 and 1993.

Outgoing CHP provincial chairman Oguz Kaan Salici resigned on December 15 to fight in the 2015 general elections as a CHP candidate.

Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency