Letter of appreciation sent by Turkish FM to presidential candidate İhsanoğlu revealed
Okan KONURALP ANKARA
İhsanoğlu and Davutoğlu are seen together during press conference in 2012. DAILY NEWS PhotoIt has emerged that Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu sent a letter of appreciation to presidential candidate Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, when İhsanoğlu was set to retire as the chief of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).
In the letter dated December 2013 and obtained by Hürriyet, Davutoğlu praises İhsanoğlu’s performance, particularly highlighting his achievements of institutional reform, which turned the OIC into a “prestigious, effective and highly visible platform where issues are handled on the basis of universal values.”
In the run-up to the presidential elections, the first round of which is slated for Aug. 10, Davutoğlu has constantly attacked İhsanoğlu, while frequently underlining İhsanoğlu would not have been elected secretary-general of the OIC in 2004 if the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had not been in power at the time.
Davutoğlu, who took office as foreign minister in 2009, also suggested Turkey’s bilateral relations with an Arab country were strained due to some of İhsanoğlu’s stances and the Arab country appealed to their government to remove İhsanoğlu. “At the time, [presidential hopeful Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan was behind İhsanoğlu. Otherwise, İhsanoğlu might have had a hard time in completing his term,” he said in a July interview.