Republican People's Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) joint presidential candidate, Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, said that Turkey should not be biased on Arab countries' conflict, and pledged that he will change Turkey's stance on foreign issues if he gets elected as president.
Noting that Turkey is an important Middle Eastern Balkan, European, and Mediterranean country, İhsanoğlu said in Turkey's northern city of Samsun that until recently, Turkey has its own stability on regional issues, but then the entire balance changed, and Turkey got involved in chaos in Arab countries. "This [Turkey's involvement on Arab countries' conflict] is an issue that needs to be fixed. I will try my best to fix it as soon as I get elected as the president," vowed İhsanoğlu, criticizing the government's current foreign policy.
The former Secretary of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) pointed out that this presidential election is completely different from the March
30 local elections, and the nation's preference will not be based on a political party this time. İhsanoğlu stated that he held contacts with AK Party officials when the joint candidacy was offered to him, and those officials advised him to run. He added that we [İhsanoğlu and AK Party officials] belong to the same background.
The joint candidate further criticized AK Party officials who mentioned the latest polls and said, "We [CHP and MHP] are respectful to all campaigning silence [proposed by Supreme Electoral Board (YSK)]. But they [certain AK Party officials] consider themselves above prohibitions."
Meanwhile, İhsanoğlu, in a televised interview in Turkish channel "Habertürk," said on Wednesday that he is not against the AK Party, but against undemocratic approaches.
Dismissing allegations that his name was among the AK Party's presidential candidates in the 2007 presidential election, İhsanoğlu said that he did not receive such offer. However, he said that there were numerous candidate names, and he was also among the candidates discussed in pre-election period in 2007.
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