The president is not a political leader: İhsanoğlu
ATHENS – Anadolu Agency
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoğlu, presidential candidate for the upcoming election in Turkey and the former head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, examines the new harvest as they visit farmers at a cornfield in the Central Anatolian province of Sivas, July 31. AP Photo / Volkan Yıldırım
Presidential hopeful Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu has said the president is not a political leader, but the leader of the people at an interview with Greek newspaper Elefteros Tipos.
“The president is not a political leader, but the leader of the people,” said İhsanoğlu, supported by several opposition parties, particularly the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
Stating the presidency should not be based on politics, religion, sects or ethnic grounds, İhsanoğlu said every individual has the right to live their faith or lifestyle freely. He also said the state is complied through creating an atmosphere where the people will live in freedom.
Responding to in what way was he different from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, İhsanoğlu said he came from a pious family, but he is not an Islamist politician and believed religion and politics should remain separate.
İhsanoğlu also said he does not have any affiliation to any religious community, upon a question regarding his relation with Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. He also said Turkey should have good relations with its neighbors, including Greece, upon a question.