Turkey’s opposition wants president who ‘embraces freedom’

Turkey’s opposition wants president who ‘embraces freedom’

ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
Turkey’s opposition wants president who ‘embraces freedom’

CHP deputy chairman Bülent Tezcan. DHA Photo

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party is looking for “the most embracing individual,” who will appeal to the largest portion of society ahead of the country’s August presidential election. 
At a meeting in Istanbul on June 2, the party’s deputy chairman told reporters: “What are important are not names, but figures. The majority of the population wants a president who embraces people; they do not want a president who discriminates against people.”

“They want a president who believes in freedom,” Bülent Tezcan added.     

It is necessary for the opposition CHP to consider a popular candidate with widespread appeal, as the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had a strong victory in March’s local elections, taking more than 40 percent of the vote, according to opposition officials.

Stressing the importance of the characteristics of the upcoming president Tezcan continued: “I believe we will all together select a presidential candidate who suits the Republic, the culture of peace and brotherhood of these people and [that] people will give approval to [him /her].”

He also criticized Erdoğan’s policies, especially regarding the summer protests, saying Erdoğan’s policies divided people.

Erdoğan is looking increasingly likely to become the ruling AKP’s candidate for the Aug. 10 poll - the first time Turkey’s president will be directly elected by the public since the founding of the Republic in 1923.

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) are continuing to discuss their candidates.

A candidate will need more than 50 percent of the popular vote to be elected in the first round. If no candidate receives the required percentage, there will be a second round on Aug. 24 between the two candidates who received the most votes in the first round.