TEHRAN, Jun. 13 (Press Shia Agency) – In an interview with Mehr News Agency, Muharrem İnce highlighted that he will immediately establish diplomatic ties with Syria if wins the coming election.
Turkish people know him as one of the outspoken critics of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan policies. İnce’s 10-minute speech at parliament in 2009, which was against the ruling party of Turkey, was significantly embraced by millions of people in social media.
İnce is a member of Republican People’s Party (also known as CHP) and can be considered the main rival of Erdoğan in June 24 election. Once a physics teacher, he is concentrating in educational issues during his election campaigns.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan from the Justice and Development Party (AKP), Muharrem İnce from CHP, Meral Akşener from Good Party, Selahattin Demirtaş from Peoples’ Democratic Party, Doğu Perinçek from Patriotic party and Saadet Temel Karamollaoğlu from Felicity Party are the candidates of this election.
Following is the full text of his interview with Mehr News:
As the candidate of the main opposition party, what changes will you introduce to Turkey’s policy if elected as president?
In my administration, Turkey moves out of a system dominated by a particular person and will own a parliamentary system based on democratic values. We will create a new constitution so as to guide the country through development accordingly.
Our legal system will become a neutral, trustworthy and fair one. Our economy will solve the current crises. We will try to create a lasting peace inside and outside the country.
There are a lot of problems in the education system and we will find effective solutions to these issues. In general, we will become a country that has freedom, peace and security.
While the ruling administration of Turkey have traditionally won Turkish religious groups votes in recent years, what are your plans for competing in this area?
I have never had problems with religious people during my life. My only problem is with those who use religious beliefs as a tool to exploit their policies.
Policies implemented in last 16 years have caused worries even for religious people. Now they are more concerned than me regarding damage imposed by the government to religious beliefs and feelings.
There is no need to do anything special to get the support of Turkish religious groups. The only thing I can do is to create a completely free and decent environment for them if elected.
Taking into account the results of elections held during the AKP government, what are the strategies for your election campaign this time?
Our main strategy is based on a culture of peace and understanding. We decide to find a general solution without leaving anyone out. On this basis, we will strengthen all the institutions that are taking steps in this direction. My most important goal is to turn Turkey into a country which, by institutionalization of peace and reconciliation, achieves the aims set by Ataturk.
This does not mean any return to the former era, but the purpose is to correct previous mistakes, to inspire hope for the country’s future, and to heal the wounds that the country have suffered during its history. To achieve these goals, we need democracy, rule of law, a powerful economy and an effective educational system.
What will you do in the context of Turkey’s accession to the European Union if succeed in the upcoming election?
Accession to the European Union is one of our priorities and is a must for us since it is regarded as one of the main principles of establishing the country which states that we should be part of the growing global civilization
We are seeking to implement different values in Turkey, such as spreading democracy, boosting respect for individual and civil rights and adherence to the law, which altogether can bring us membership in the European Union.
During my presidency term, no incident will happen which would lead to a conflict between us and Germany and the Netherlands, and we will enhance our business and friendly relations by all means. We will adopt all the required measures for Turkey’s accession to EU and will achieve this aim.
What do you think about the peace process that was implemented by the government in solving the Kurdish problem but were not finished for some reasons?
From the very first day, I emphasized the wrong nature of what the government called ‘developmental policies’. I also mentioned the related necessary points in the parliament and media.
To solve this problem, we should not address an armed group. In the above mentioned policies, the condition for laying down arms by the group should have been emphasized without any preconditions, however, this was not the case. In general, it was shortly proved that something called the peace process does not exist, because we need to do something to differentiate Kurds issue with terror and its effects.
No government will negotiate with an armed group that threatens its sovereignty. In this regard, extra attention should be paid to the example of Colombia and what has happened in this country.
As long as this terrorist group continues its activities, it isn’t possible to achieve a comprehensive social peace. The true meaning of peace is that not only the high-ranking officials, but all the people can reach an agreement.
In our view, the only place which can conclude this process is National Assembly of Turkey.
If the election goes to the second round, will you seek the support of other parties, and in particular the Peoples’ Democratic Party?
Under these circumstances, I would like to seek the support of all voters with any tendency. Of course, I will try to agree with different parties, but the final decision will be made by themselves.
If elected as the Turkish president, what will be your policies regarding the neighboring countries, Iran, Iraq and Syria?
We want to establish close and powerful relations with all our neighbors. Meanwhile, the status of Iran, Iraq and Syria is much more important.
We also believe that our neighboring countries’ growing power is in Turkey’s favor. And hence, any action that would undermine national sovereignty and peace in these countries is wrong in our view.
We will begin diplomatic relations with Syria immediately. We will do everything necessary to prepare the grounds for the return of 4 million Syrian refugees residing in Turkey whose hearts is full of joy and hope for their country.
Interview by: Kamran Ghaderi Azar
Translated by: Mohammad Ali Haqshenas