Saturday May 20, 2023
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan shakes hands with ATA Alliance leader Sinan Oğan at Dolmabahçe Office in Istanbul, May 19, 2023. (DHA Photo)
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is holding a meeting with ATA Alliance leader Sinan Oğan in Istanbul ahead of the upcoming runoff elections on May 28, presidential sources said Friday.No official statement has been made about the meeting yet.
The closed-door meeting lasted an hour, sources said.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Deputy Chair Binali Yıldırım recently said there’s nothing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and third candidate Sinan Oğan couldn’t agree on since their rhetoric is not so wildly different.
Entering the campaign at the last minute, hardline nationalist Oğan, 55, picked up 5.2% of the vote in Sunday’s landmark election that ran into a second round after neither Erdoğan nor his main challenger Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu secured more than 50% of the vote.
Erdoğan finished with 49.5%, taking a clear lead over Kılıçdaroğlu, who lagged at 44.9%.
Oğan, however, running as an independent, has since emerged as a kingmaker and basked in newfound fame over his potential second-round endorsement.
He is believed to have sucked votes away from both Erdoğan and Kılıçdaroğlu, the head of the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the joint contender for an opposition bloc of six nationalist and secularist parties.