Presidential candidate İhsanoğlu commemorates Sivas massacre

Presidential candidate İhsanoğlu commemorates Sivas massacre

Presidential candidate İhsanoğlu commemorates Sivas massacre

Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu has stated via a Twitter message that he will 'make every effort' to prevent another massacre like the one that took place in Sivas 21 years ago. AA Photo

Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, a senior academic and diplomat nominated by Turkey’s two biggest opposition parties as a joint candidate in the upcoming presidential election, has commemorated the Sivas massacre which happened 21 years ago today.

In Turkey’s central province of Sivas on July 2, 1993, 35 people were killed after a group of radical Islamists torched the Madımak Hotel in which many intellectuals were staying for the Pir Sultan Abdal Festival. Many of those killed were Alevi intellectuals. Security forces and officials were criticized for not stopping the massacre.

“The sorrow, which resulted from the killing of our loved ones who just wanted to give a message on our unity and solidarity exactly 21 years ago today, is still as fresh as ever,” said İhsanoğlu in a Twitter message on July 2.

After calling for the Madımak Hotel to be turned into a “museum of an objective lesson,” İhsanoğlu said he remembers all of the victims with respect. “I would like to say that I will make every effort to prevent such sorrows from happening again,” he added.

In the presidential election scheduled for Aug. 10, İhsanoğlu will race against the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) candidate Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Selahattin Demirtaş, the co-leader of the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP).

Before his nomination as the joint presidential candidate of the social democratic Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), İhsanoğlu was the heade of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) from 2005 to 2014.

He began his presidential campaign at his Central Anatolian hometown of Yozgat on July 1.