Civil society seeks joint appearance of three presidential candidates on TV
HDP's candidate Selhattin Demirtaş during a visit of the Roboski village. AA PhotoAn initiative named Small National Assemblies of Turkey (TkMM), a civil initiative aimed at building a bridge between civil society and lawmakers, has called on the three presidential candidates to appear on the same television program and respond to questions from representatives of civil society organizations (CSO).
“Three candidates on television together,” is a slogan being used by prominent human rights activist Şanar Yurdatapan, who is leading the initiative.
“Let’s not have a journalist or a few journalists sitting across from them, but let’s have civil society representatives. TkMM’s representatives are ready to come together to ask what the people have in their minds and hearts,” Yurdatapan said in a statement released earlier this week.
The activist also proposed a format in which each question would be limited to 15 seconds and each answer would be limited to two minutes.
“There will be no obstacles in front of the freedom of expression in this program, but of course, preventing the use of freedom of expression will be stopped,” Yurdatapan said. “Will it happen, will they come together?” he asked while recalling that Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, nominated by two major opposition parties and supported by about a dozen of minor opposition parties, and the other opposition presidential hopeful, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş, have already voiced their willingness to partake in such a program with their competitors.
“There is no reason for us not to believe that they will stand behind their remarks. What if [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan doesn’t come?” he asked, referring to the third candidate, nominated by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Prime Minister Erdoğan.
“We cannot imagine that he will leave his seat vacant, at an arena where the other two candidates are present,” he said.
Yurdatapan called on citizens to join this campaign through reaching out to all three candidates, as well as outgoing President Abdullah Gül, through social media.