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Turkey's first Communist mayor offers 'another left'

A small town in Turkey has become the first municipality to elect a Communist mayor.
Kuba Kahve.jpg

OVACIK, Turkey — The drive into Communist Turkey is by a picturesque mountain road along the river Munzur. From the capital, Tunceli, it is about 60 kilometers (37 miles) to Ovacik, mainly uphill. At the village entrance, you are greeted by the Turkish national colors with "Welcome to Ovacik." Next to it is the blue village sign with the number of inhabitants: 3,700.

Fatih Macoglu is one of them and, since March 30, their mayor. He is from a nearby village, but has spent many of the past years working in other cities, such as Konya and Bingol. Before moving back to Ovacik, he worked as a civil servant in the state hospital in Tunceli. On Nov. 29, 2013, Macoglu submitted his candidacy for mayor of Ovacik and won, running as the candidate of the Communist Party of Turkey, or TKP. Macoglu is the first officially Communist mayor in Turkey's history. The vote was close. Out of the 1,812 votes cast, the TKP got 655 (36%), the Kemalist Republican People's Party (CHP) 608 (33.4 %) and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) 228 (15.4%).

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