Turkey: Rival candidates meet with ultra-nationalist bloc figures, ask for support

Turkey: Rival candidates meet with ultra-nationalist bloc figures, ask for support
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While Kilicdaroglu met with Victory Party leader Ozdag, Erdogan invited Ogan to Dolmabahce Palace where he had a one-hour meeting with him.

The rival presidential candidates in Turkey met on Friday with the representatives of an ultra-nationalist alliance that have not yet announced if it will provide support for one of the runners at the runoff on 28 May.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the opposition's candidate and leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), met with Umit Ozdag, the chair of Victory Party, which is part of the Ata (Ancestral) Alliance that endorsed Sinan Ogan at the first round.

Ogan received 5.2% of the vote on 14 May.

Kilicdaroglu told a joint press conference after the meeting:

“We had a very good and productive meeting with Ozdag. We discussed the problems of Turkey and the problems of the world, and exchanged assessments. I also told Mr. Ozdag about the views of the leaders of parties in the Nation Alliance, our efforts and objectives, and our thoughts on a constitutional amendment."

He added:

"Turkey needs democracy, it needs solidarity. We must overcome existing problems."

Ozdağ and Ogan have recently demanded that Kilicdaroglu end any dialogue with the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), which they claim is a legal front for the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Ozdag was recently recorded on video as he told a woman supporter of HDP in public that "he is surprised that she does not look like a murderer."

He told the press conference that they will announce their decision after consultation.

Shortly after the meeting between Kilicdaroglu and Ozdag, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan invited Ogan to the offices of the Presidency in Istanbul and the two had a meeting. No announcement was subsequently made by any side.