Presidential candidate İnce promises to take ‘bold’ steps to solve Kurdish issue
Main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem İnce has vowed he will take “bold and courageous steps” to find a solution to the Kurdish issue in Turkey if he is elected president in the early elections on June 24.
“There has been an environment of clashes for 40 years. How will we solve it? We will solve it first with sincerity. Second, we will solve it in parliament. Third, we will solve it by not lying. And finally, by taking courageous steps,” İnce said in an interview with BBC Turkish on May 6.
“I believe this can be solved with sincerity,” he added, underlining the importance of “reconciliation and dialogue.”
He stated that he was against the CHP’s support in 2016 to lift the immunity of MPs, which resulted in the imprisonment of one CHP lawmaker and 11 Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers, four of whom were stripped of their MP status.
“I said what I believed,” he said, adding that he objected to the proposal because he believes “there is no independent judiciary in Turkey.”
“I still think like that,” he said.
“I will not do it for a vote. Sometimes Turks and sometimes Kurds will be angry with me. I am prepared for that. I will set forth the principle, and it will be within universal rules and law, and it will take account of conscience,” he said.
Following the interview, he posted on his official Twitter account that he will arrange a courtesy visit to all presidential candidates, including HDP’s candidate Selahattin Demirtaş, who is currently behind bars in Edirne Prison.
“I will visit Mr. Selahattin Demirtaş in prison,” İnce posted on May 6.
Being nominated as the CHP’s candidate on May 4, İnce’s first public speech in his hometown Yalova on May 5 was marked by his vow for “impartiality.”
He urged President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over the release of Demirtaş, as he reiterated the CHP’s criticism on the president’s influence over the judiciary.
“The HDP are also children of this nation, the AKP are also the children of this country… Don’t keep Demirtaş in jail,” İnce said on May 5.
Arrested in November 2016, former HDP co-leader Demirtaş is accused on terrorism charges.
After he was presented as the HDP’s presidential candidate on May 4, the party’s co-leader Pervin Buldan and a HDP committee applied to the Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) for the release of Demirtaş for “fair elections.”