04/19/2023, 20.39
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Gunshots fired at CHP Istanbul offices, opposition slams govt for encouraging violence

The offices of the main opposition party have been attacked. Its candidate is challenging Erdoğan for the presidency. Shots have been fired and posters vandalised. The government is accused of creating a climate of fear and intimidation. According to the latest polls, no one is likely to win in the first round. Erdoğan and Kılıçdaroğlu are expected to be in the run-off.

Istanbul (AsiaNews) – Turkey’s opposition parties are increasingly are under attack less than a month from the country’s crucial presidential and parliamentary elections, which are expected to decide the future of the country and that of beleaguered President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The latest case involves the campaign office of the Republican People's Party (CHP) in the Örnek neighbourhood in Ataşehir, İstanbul, CHP's de facto İstanbul provincial chair, Canan Kaftancıoğlu, tweeted. Shots were also fired outside the CHP provincial office in the city earlier this month.

In light of events, the CHP has accused the government of creating a climate of fear and intimidation that encourages violence.

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu is the CHP's and the opposition Nation Alliance's presidential candidate. As part of the campaign of intimidation, posters of him have been defaced with the initials of President Erdoğan.

In her tweet, chairwoman Kaftancıoğlu blames the government for the climate of fear that is fuelling the attacks and calls on the authorities to punish the culprits.

The police opened an investigation in connection with the latest incident. Six suspects who cut party flags and vandalised the CHP office windows were identified. Two other people on a motorcycle, not yet identified, reportedly fired blank shots into the air.

In late March, shots were fired at the Good (İYİ) Party's İstanbul provincial office. In early April, a man was arrested for firing shots outside the CHP's Istanbul provincial office.

Meanwhile, according to the latest polls, a presidential run-off seems increasingly likely, because none of the candidates scores above 50 per cent. Divisions within the opposition, the Nation Alliance, also known as the Table of Six, have hindered their joint candidate.

A survey of 1,067 people by the Aksoy polling company between 1 and 8 April showed Kılıçdaroğlu with 47.8 per cent of support against Erdoğan’s 38.4 per cent, with Muharrem İnce, who ran for president as the CHP candidate in the 2018 election, at 9 per cent, while far-right candidate Sinan Oğan got 4.8 per cent.

The MAK company polled 5,750 people between 10 and 16 April in 52 provinces, showing  Kılıçdaroğlu at 47.8 per cent, Erdoğan at 43.7 per cent, Muharrem İnce at 3.4 per cent, and Sinan Oğan at 4 per cent.

If no candidate gets more than 50 per cent, a run-off will be held two weeks after the first round.

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