Turkish main opposition leader meets intellectuals, artists

Turkish main opposition leader meets intellectuals, artists

Turkish main opposition leader meets intellectuals, artists

Famous poet Ataol Behramoğlu (2L), singer Edip Akbayram (2R) and actor Tarık Akan (R) are seen during a meeting with CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. DHA photo

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu held a meeting with intellectuals and representatives of religious communities in Istanbul, as part of his meetings to determine a nominee for the presidential elections scheduled for August.

“Turkey is heading to a consensus as far as I can see. We will secure a large consensus,” Kılıçdaroğlu told reporters after the meeting, which had been closed to the media, adding that no specific names for the possible presidential candidate had been discussed.

The CHP head also stated that the prime minister should resign from his post before the election if he wants to run in the presidential election. “This struggle should be run in equal conditions. Otherwise it would not be democratic,” he said.

“If the prime minister says that he will run for president he should behave ethically and resign. He should rally only as a presidential candidate,” Kılıçdaroğlu added.

Among the around 90 intellectuals, artists and religious community representatives attending the meeting were well-known figures such as actor Rutkay Aziz; actor Tarık Akan; singer Edip Akbayram; poet Ataol Behramoğlu; writer Cezmi Ersöz; actor Emre Kınay; folk singer Yavuz Top; Jewish community head, İshak İbrahimzadeh, Minority Community Foundations representative Laki Vingas, the general manager of the Syriac Catholic foundation, Katolik Zeki Basatemir; the head of Feriköy Armenian Church, Murat Öğer; the spiritual leader of the Turkish Syrian community, Yusuf Çetin; scholar Deniz Ülkü Arıboğan; economist Fuat Keyman; historian İlber Ortaylı; 68’ Union head Sönmez Targan; Alevi Bektaşi Federation head Fevzi Gümüş; Alevi Associations Federation head Rıza Eroğlu, and Black Sea Confederation head Tahsin Usta.