The “third man” in Turkey’s presidential elections, the ultranationalist Sinan Ogan, he said he was “open to dialogue” but might call on his supporters to vote for Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the second round, he told AFP.

Ogan, who comes from the Nationalist Action Party (Erdogan’s ally Devlet Bakhceli MHP), won 5.17% in the first round on Sunday, according to official but not yet confirmed results. Neither of the other two, neither the Islamist-conservative outgoing president nor his main rival, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu managed to gather 50% to be elected in the first round. They will thus be led to a second round, on May 28.

Until now, Ogan, who was not supported by any party, declares himself open to dialogue with the two candidates. “A decision will be taken after talks with Mr Erdogan and Mr Kilicdaroglu,” he told AFP. “We could say that we do not support either one or the other,” added the former MP.

Ogan essentially sets a condition that Kemal Kilicdaroglu finds difficult to accept, namely no cooperation with the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), which the government accuses of having links with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). “I am against any organization which does not distance itself from terrorism”, he clarified.

The HDP has called on its voters to support Kilicdaroglu. The high percentage gathered by Kilicdaroglu’s coalition, which also includes the nationalists of Meral Aksener’s Good Party, is partly due to its support from the Kurds. However, in the event that there is an approach with Sinan Ogan, the opposition candidate may lose the Kurdish vote.

Ogan said he was not surprised by the large number of votes he received on Sunday, attributing his success to “Turkish nationalists and young people who are fed up with the old faces of politics”. He reiterated that he is in favor of a hard line on Kurdish, and rejects “any form of terrorism”.

Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) clarified that it does not know at this stage whether there will be any meeting between the outgoing president and Sinan Ogan.