ISTANBUL — Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP), recently visited the Turkish Confederation of Merchants and Craftsmen (TESK) and met with chairman of the organization Bendevi Palandöken. The two held a press conference prior to their meeting where both sides answered questions regarding the upcoming presidential election.
Reminding the audience that it will be the first time the president will be elected by popular vote, Kılıçdaroğlu stated that the main reason why they visited merchants and craftsmen was because the CHP wants to learn what type of president they are looking for and what qualities they believe the president should possess.
"We wanted to start off by taking your opinion and continue with other occupational institutions along with nongovernmental organizations in order to follow a stable and reliable road to the presidency," said Kılıçdaroğlu, who noted that merchants and craftsmen are found throughout the country and are some of the main opinion leaders of Turkey.
With regard to the election of the president, Kılıçdaroğlu expressed he or she should be someone who does not "other" anyone, prioritizes rationality, and someone whom everyone can embrace as the presidential candidate. In response to a question about the possibility of a joint presidential candidate, Kılıçdaroğlu he couldn't comment on the matter at the moment but would make a statement following the consultation process.
On the other hand, Bendevi Palandöken stated that the presidential candidate would be someone who would need the support of the Parliament as well as the people because the position of the presidency is the highest institution which requires the candidate to embrace 76 million people and have genuine love for the country.