Turkey’s AKP names past candidate for Izmir in March bi-election .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} Taha Aksoy, who previously ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Turkey’s third largest city, Izmir, was again named candidate of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the upcoming March bi-elections, the prime minister said at a party meeting in Ankara on Sunday. (UPDATED)

Aksoy failed to win the post in the 2004 bi-elections, but was later elected as a deputy in the general elections in 2007.

"I do not think we will face the same shortcomings we experienced in the last elections. We are taking part in these elections to win," Aksoy was quoted by DHA as saying.

Aksoy was also appointed to head the organization committee for the international sporting event, Universiad, which was hosted by Izmir in 2005.

The Aegean costal city of Izmir, with a population of 4 million, is a stronghold of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and was targeted by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan after the party came to a second term in the 2007 general elections.

Erdogan also announced on Sunday the candidates for the western cities of Bursa and Sakarya, the central city of Eskisehir and the Black Sea coastal town of Samsun.