BBP becomes seventh party to lend support to İhsanoğlu
Great Union Party (BBP) leader Mustafa Destici (C) speaks at a press conference on July 16. AA PhotoA minor nationalist party that is not represented at Parliament has become the seventh political party to so far declare support for presidential candidate Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, saying an “ideal president” would put an end to the government-led resolution process to find a peaceful solution to the long-running Kurdish issue.
Great Union Party (BBP) leader Mustafa Destici, speaking at a press conference on July 16, recalled that only parties represented at Parliament are able to nominate presidential candidates, which is why the BBP took the three candidates’ stance and promises into consideration rather than the parties that backed them.
Destici listed various characteristics that the ideal president should have. “They should stop the process of dissolution and disintegration that is named the ‘resolution process’ and should never give concessions from the ideal of one state, one nation, one language and one flag,” he said, before announcing his party’s support for İhsanoğlu.
Nominated by the two major opposition parties at Parliament - the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) - İhsanoğlu has also received support from the Democratic Left Party (DSP), the Democrat Party (DP), the Independent Turkey Party (BTP), and the Liberal Democrat Party (LDP), all of which are not represented at Parliament.
While Destici took aim at the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) initiative to end the three decade-long conflict between the security forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), İhsanoğlu last week stated that the Kurdish issue should be solved with peaceful means, while also expressing support for the continuation of the “unitary state.”
He added that the state should not violate people’s rights by banning their mother tongue, pointing to Parliament for the solution of the matter.
On July 16, İhsanoğlu was campaigning in the southern province of Gaziantep, but was quick to offer his thanks to the BBP for its support via his Twitter account.
‘People paying cost for the heroism of gov’t’
Speaking at a press conference while in Gaziantep, İhsanoğlu, the former chief of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), touched on how the militant jihadi organization the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) had seized control of Syria’s borders.
“A new statelet is being settled in the form of the Islam Caliphate and the Islamic State. We have become neighbors with this,” İhsanoğlu said, criticizing the government for acting with “heroic motives that only remain on paper.”
“Our people are paying the cost. Is it worth this?” he said.
Speaking in a live interview with TV station TGRT on July 13, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu devoted much time to counterattacking İhsanoğlu’s criticism of the government’s regional foreign policy.
Davutoğlu said İhsanoğlu either did not have knowledge of the region or he had begun acting in line with the “ideologically-motivated arguments” of CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.