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Politician who criticized opposition alliance parts ways with his party

Yavuz Agiralioglu

Turkish politician Yavuz Ağıralioğlu

A politician from the nationalist İYİ (Good) Party has announced his resignation from the party after criticizing an opposition alliance that includes his party and its joint presidential candidate.

İYİ Party İstanbul lawmaker Yavuz Ağıralioğlu parted ways with the İYİ Party on Tuesday. He said at a news conference on Wednesday that his presence in the İYİ Party had begun to be a “burden” on it but that he’s not the kind of a politician who remains silent when he sees a mistake.

Ağıralioğlu has recently come to public attention with his harsh criticism of an opposition bloc of six parties, known as the Nation Alliance, of which İYİ Party is a member along with the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the conservative Felicity Party (SP) and three other small opposition parties.

The politician raised objections to the nomination of CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu as the alliance’s joint presidential candidate earlier this month, saying Kılıçdaroğlu’s candidacy was “imposed” on the alliance.

He also accused the Nation Alliance of cooperating with the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which is not in the alliance but has indicated its tacit support for Kılıçdaroğlu by not fielding its own presidential candidate.

He said the alliance was “overshadowed by terrorism.”

The HDP is accused by the government of Turkey and nationalists as being the political extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community. The party denies the accusation.

Kılıçdaroğlu recently visited the HDP, widely seen as the kingmaker in the election, and asked for their support in the presidential election scheduled for May 14.

Ağıralioğlu, who was criticized for damaging the alliance with his remarks, also announced earlier this week that he would not vote for Kılıçdaroğlu in the presidential election, which was followed by his eventual resignation.

The politician said he did not apply to the İYİ Party to run in the parliamentary elections, which will also be held on May 14, due to his disagreements with the party but said he would continue to engage in politics.

Ağıralioğlu’s criticism of the Nation Alliance and his resignation from the İYİ Party led to speculation that he might soon join the ranks of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

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