Opposition must have joint candidate in poll - Bekleviç

Opposition parties should unite behind whichever of their candidates gets the highest vote in the first round of Turkey's presidential election, declaring them a “joint candidate of people”, says Tuna Bekleviç, a politician who will stand as an independent candidate in the election, scheduled to be held next year.

He said that acceptance of this reality in advance is “national service,” adding that it will not be possible for opposition parties and politicians to unite against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) if they insist on presenting their own names as candidates.

Noting that the presidential election is not a “race for position,” he called the upcoming election another “independence war”, borrowing a phrase frequently used by members of Turkey’s government to describe the country’s circumstances.

Bekleviç continued by saying that under the current government, Turkey is losing time. In a press release, he stated:

“There are principles like returning to the parliamentary system, the immediate end to the state of emergency, respect for differences, strengthening areas of fundamental rights and freedoms. If opposition parties unite and voice these principles to people more, voting potential can increase beyond 60 percent. Our task today is not to ‘divide over differences’ but to ‘unite on the basis of common principles."