Erdoğan rejects CHP candidate’s call for live TV debate

Erdoğan rejects CHP candidate’s call for live TV debate

Erdoğan rejects CHP candidate’s call for live TV debate

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has rejected a challenge made by main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem İnce for a live debate on television.

“What will you talk about with a man who says ‘I oppose Canal Istanbul?’” Erdoğan said in a televised interview on Kanal 7 on June 16, when asked about presidential candidate İnce’s criticism of some “mega projects.”

“He has no shame, inviting me on television [for a live debate],” the president said.

“He will [try to] get ratings thanks to us,” the president said, adding that he would not give İnce the time of day.

The CHP’s presidential candidate has repeatedly challenged Erdoğan to a live television debate. Erdoğan merely accepted a visit offer and met with İnce at the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) headquarters last month.

İnce repeated his call for a debate on June 17.

“He says I want to get ratings, but even the weather forecasts are watched more than his interviews,” İnce said during an election campaign rally in the eastern province of Tunceli, referring to TV ratings.

“I’m making my call once again: Let’s talk about the future of our children and let’s talk about education,” the CHP candidate said, adding that he would “tell Erdoğan about the real state of the economy in the country” if they sit down for a debate.

Both Erdoğan and İnce refused to appear on state-run broadcaster TRT for a 10 minute campaign speech, refusing to exercise the right given by the election law.

Erdoğan said his busy schedule did not leave any time to shoot the speech, while İnce cited TRT’s “biased” broadcasting.