BEIRUT

Middle East

Turkish presidential candidate donates to Erdogan’s campaign

  • Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the former head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, speaks in Istanbul, Turkey, Thursday, July 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

ISTANBUL: Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has turned down a donation to his campaign war chest for August’s presidential election from an unusual source – his rival.

Opposition candidate Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu Monday surprised his two opponents by donating 1,000 Turkish lira ($470) to each of their campaign funds, in what his supporters described as a fair play gesture.

Ihsanoglu is the joint candidate for the country’s secularist and nationalist parties, and his office said the academic, diplomat and former head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation made the symbolic gesture “to encourage a gentleman-like period of campaigning.”

Polls show Ihsanoglu, who is seen as above the rough-and-tumble of Turkish domestic politics, has a mountain to climb if he is to overturn Erdogan’s 20-point lead.

His largesse met a mixed reaction, with some taking to social media to mock him for the move. “Ihsanoglu donated to rivals’ campaigns? How naive! And what a sweet little baby,” wrote one Turkish Twitter user.

Erdogan’s lawyer confirmed the sum was returned at the request of the prime minister. Ihsanoglu’s other rival was more amenable to the idea, using the gesture to have a dig at the wealth allegedly amassed by Erdogan during 12 years in power.

“Professor, you went to the trouble, thank you,” Kurdish presidential hopeful Selahattin Demirtas wrote in a tweet that was shared more than 4,000 times. “But the other candidate has a lot [of money], feel free to donate it all to me.”

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 15, 2014, on page 9.
Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Summary

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has turned down a donation to his campaign war chest for August's presidential election from an unusual source – his rival.

Polls show Ihsanoglu, who is seen as above the rough-and-tumble of Turkish domestic politics, has a mountain to climb if he is to overturn Erdogan's 20-point lead.

Ihsanoglu's other rival was more amenable to the idea, using the gesture to have a dig at the wealth allegedly amassed by Erdogan during 12 years in power.


Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here