Turkey’s presidential candidates find common ground on foreign policy

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The governing AK Party’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the opposition CHP’s Muharrem Ince both hope to send Syrian refugees home, join the EU, and continue to press for Fetullah Gulen’s extradition from the US.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, shakes hands with Muharrem Ince, Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) lawmaker and the party's presidential candidate, prior to their meeting at Erdogan's governing Justice and Development (AK) Party offices, in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, May 9, 2018.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, shakes hands with Muharrem Ince, Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker and the party’s presidential candidate, prior to their meeting at Erdogan’s governing Justice and Development (AK) Party offices, in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, May 9, 2018.

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AP
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Turkey’s two main parties – the governing Justice and Development (AK) Party and the opposition Republican People’s Party, CHP – share little disagreement about what to do about the war in Syria, which is to find a solution that will allow more than 3.5 million refugees to return home.

Similarly, both parties want Turkey to join the EU along with visa-free travel for Turkish citizens.

They would also both continue to press for the extradition from the US of Fetullah Gulen, although they disagree on how to go about it.

TRT World’s
Andrew Hopkins reports from Ankara, Turkey.

There are six presidential candidates who will contest for the office on June 24.

The candidates’ focus on foreign policy is generally shaped by their political background.

Muharrem Ince, the candidate of secular CHP, promises to heal ties with Western countries, while the left-wing nationalist candidate Dogu Perincek pledges to work with Eurasian countries.

Here is a quick look at where the candidates stand on foreign policy.

The Turkish presidential candidates are mainly concerned with Turkey's relations with the West and the country's role in the Middle East.
The Turkish presidential candidates are mainly concerned with Turkey’s relations with the West and the country’s role in the Middle East.

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TRTWorld
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When it comes to ties the European Union, most of the candidates favour continuing talks with the bloc.

But Temel Karamollaoglu, the head of Saadet (Felicity) Party, doesn’t approve of the accession process, and Meral Aksener of Iyi (Good) Party is demanding a review of the accession talks.

Three of the candidates see European Union membership as the sine qua non of foreign policy, but the others prioritise more isolationist policies from the bloc, reflecting more or less general opinion of Turkish society on EU accession.
Three of the candidates see European Union membership as the sine qua non of foreign policy, but the others prioritise more isolationist policies from the bloc, reflecting more or less general opinion of Turkish society on EU accession.

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TRTWorld
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Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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