Turkey: opposition presidential nominee starts campaign

27 June, 10:44

    (ANSAmed) - ANKARA, JUNE 27 - Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the joint presidential candidate of Turkey's main opposition parties started visiting various opposition parties Thursday to raise support for the presidential election in August as Anadolu Agency reported. Ihsanoglu began his visit with the Grand Unity Party (BBP) and met the party leaders of Mustafa Destici. Ihsanoglu needs 20 members of Parliament to support his candidacy before he can officially run in the election, scheduled for August 10. Ihsanoglu also met with the leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP), Masum Turker, at party's headquarters in Ankara. Turker renewed his party's support for the candidate. Ihsanoglu was also supported by the leader of the Republican People's Part (CHP), Kemal Kilicdaroglu. "Ihsanoglu is a wise person who will embrace all sections of society," Kilicdaroglu said after meeting the candidate.

    The main opposition parties in Turkey announced Ihsanoglu as their joint presidential candidate on June 16. Ihsanoglu, who is 71, retired last year as secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation - a body that promotes the interests of 57 member states. Under his leadership, since his election in 2005, the organization has become more involved in humanitarian, social and economic issues. He is an author and diplomat who was born in Cairo to Turkish parents. (ANSAmed).

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