ANKARA / KIRŞEHİR
CHP head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, MHP head Devlet Bahçeli, DSP head Masum Türker, BTP head Haydar Baş and DP head Gültekin Uysal
The leaders of five political parties: the Republican People’s Party (CHP), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Democratic Left Party (DSP), Democrat Party (DP) and Independent Turkey Party (BTP) met on July 2 and announced a joint declaration of support for Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu’s presidential candidacy.
The True Path Party (DYP) was initially among those parties, but withdrew its support for İhsanoğlu in a written statement on July 2 over a controversial arrangement regarding the DP. The Great Union Party (BBP) did not participate at the gathering, given they have not decided on whether to give support to İhsanoğlu.
In the declaration, they pledged support to İhsanoğlu as the presidential candidate, as the opposition parties “that aim to reinforce the separation of powers and use a language of love and peace instead of one of hatred and violence.”
The declaration also stated they have full confidence that İhsanoğlu will enhance Turkey’s worldwide reputation again, combine the founder of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s principles and core values of the republic with the Turkish people’s spiritual values, will adhere to principles of liberalism and laicism and gender equality, will seek different solutions to Turkey’s problems and be an impartial president representing all. Madımak must be a ‘museum of an objective lesson’
Meanwhile, İhsanoğlu has pledged to make Madımak Hotel, where some 30 Alevi
intellectuals were staying for the Pir Sultan Abdal Festival were killed in 1993 after a group of radical Islamists torched the hotel, a “museum of an objective lesson.”
In commemoration of the Sivas massacre, which security forces and officials were criticized for not preventing, İhsanoğlu said the incident was “one of the black marks” of Turkey’s history and the hotel should be turned into a museum.
“I will follow the developments if I am elected,” he said on July 2 during his visit to the Hacıbektaş Veli Museum. İhsanoğlu also visited the grave of Neşet Ertaş, Turkish folk music singer and songwriter.
İhsanoğlu said, “Fanaticism and provocation had created such a disaster among people who had been living together for thousands of years.”
No one has given an account for more than 21 years regarding the crime in Sivas, İhsanoğlu said. “We should take lessons in order to prevent that incident from happening again,” he noted.
“The struggle for democracy in Turkey is restarting. This is not a struggle of a political cadre designing Turkey for years in their interest, but the struggle of people following their word,” he stated, stressing that that struggle would be civilized.
Turkey’s target is EU membership, İhsanoğlu said, underlining those universal values comply with Islam and Turkey’s culture.
Metin Feyzioğlu, the head of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB), and CHP
deputies also attended the commemoration of the Madımak incident in Sivas. “Turks, Kurds, Sunnis, Alevis are all brothers,” Feyzioğlu said.