Turkey’s fractious opposition parties united on Monday behind a single candidate, Kemal Kilicdaroglu of the Republican People’s Party (CHP).
If the six-party coalition holds together through the June 18 election, Kilicdaroglu has a real shot at unseating the increasingly authoritarian and Islamist incumbent, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Kilicdaroglu, 74, is a low-key career civil servant who went right into the Turkish Ministry of Treasury and Finance after graduating from college. He actually won a “Bureaucrat of the Year” award in 1994. He parlayed his reputation as an honest administrator and corruption fighter into a seat in the Turkish parliament in 2002, the same year Erdogan took the top office.
CHP is the party of Turkey’s legendary secular reformer, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and Kilicdaroglu is running on a platform of breaking down the authoritarian, nationalist,…