File - The president 's chair is seen empty in Baabda, Tuesday, March 11, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Istanbul's bustling streets, where tourists typically flock to attractions like Taksim Square and Askaray, is now also hosting a plethora of prominent Syrian opposition figures, many of whom have the upcoming presidential election in Lebanon in mind.Along the popular Independence Street, amid the appetizing aromas of Turkish kebabs wafting through the air, The Daily Star met with Syrian opposition figures Wael al-Khalidi, of the Syrian Relief Commission and blogger Hamza Bakir, both of whom stressed that Lebanon's next president should not have ties to the Syrian regime. On this particular day, everyone was discussing the possible outcomes of the presidential election in Lebanon, as though it were the contested Syrian presidential elections to take place in June.Syrian activist in Istanbul Ahmad al-Ahmar, who is involved with humanitarian relief efforts goes to great lengths to explain the importance of the presidential election for the opposition's efforts to topple Assad's regime.Khalidi criticized Hezbollah's military involvement in Syria.
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