Republican People’s Party (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem İnce had dinner with European Union ambassadors in Ankara on Wednesday evening, telling them he would visit the family of Selahattin Demirtaş, the jailed presidential candidate for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), during a campaign visit to Diyarbakır, the Sözcü daily reported.
İnce answered questions from the ambassadors on controversial issues in Turkish politics, including education in the Kurdish language.
“We will teach Turkish, the mother tongue of the student and a foreign language [in schools],” İnce said.
When asked about whether he would be able to garner Kurdish support in the second round of voting in the snap elections, İnce said he wasn’t worried about that, bringing to mind a recent visit he made to Demirtaş in prison in Edirne.
İnce also took a question about the headscarf issue, which has occupied Turkey’s political debates for years, since wearing headscarves was not allowed for university students and public officials.
“This matter is a personal choice. I wouldn’t interfere in it,” İnce said.
If he wins the presidency, İnce said the first steps he would take would be to cancel an ongoing state of emergency, restore the independence of the central bank, re-establish the rule of law in Turkey and re-impose a system of checks and balances.
In reference to the vision of the founder of modern Turkey, Kemal Atatürk, to reach “the level of contemporary civilizations,” İnce declared that Turkey’s direction should be towards the West.
İnce also announced plans to meet with Turkish voters living in Greece and Bulgaria.