Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoğlu said on Tuesday he is set to run again for mayor in local elections set for March.
"As I have said many times: who wins in Istanbul also wins in Türkiye. Success in Istanbul would take one to very important spots in national politics," Imamoğlu, who runs the country's largest city, told reporters.
Kılıçdaroğlu has remained chairman of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) despite growing calls to resign, and has not said whether he will stand as a candidate in the party congress this autumn.
"Today I'm setting out to defend Istanbul again, I'm setting out for the grand Istanbul alliance again," Imamoğlu said.
CHP cooperated with the opposition parties IYI Party and HDP in 2019 municipal elections to secure Imamoglu's victory in Istanbul.
The two parties have not revealed whether they will support the CHP candidate again in the March 2024 vote.