Presidential Candidate of Modern Turkey: Emine Ülker Tarhan
Emine Ülker Tarhan is being seriously considered as a candidate for the next presidential elections by the Kemalist - secular forces and the intellectuals of the modern Turkey.
On 26 June, a mass organization gathered at the Piramid Sanat (Pyramid Arts building) in Istanbul upon the invitation of Bedri Baykam, the former CHP Head. The meeting was attended by several members of the CHP, the Workers’ Party and the General Coordinator of Aydinlik Daily, Aziz Cüneyt Yüksel. Participants agreed that they are unable to represent Ekmeleddin İhsanoglu as their chosen presidential candidate, and call for him to step back without further ado.
Instead, they seriously considered Emine Ülker Tarhan as a candidate. The mass organization aims to attain 20 signatures of approval from parliament members to be able to nominate her or any other candidate whom they believe would be more suitable for the position than Ihsanoğlu.
Aziz Cüneyt Yüksel said the following in his speech regarding Tarhan’s candidacy in the upcoming presidential elections: "Emine Ülker Tarhan is a modern women who deserves Atatürk's republic and believes the rule of law. She is a candidate of the Kemalists against the fundamentalist, terrorist mindset which is rapidly spreading in the region and eliminating the freedom of women, which also considers women as a second-class citizen."
Emine Ülker Tarhan is a jurist and a current MP of Turkey's main opposition party, the Republican People's Party (CHP). She was formerly a judge at the High Court of Appeals. Currently, she serves as the vice spokesperson of her party in the parliament. Tarhan, CHP’s "Iron Lady", is one of the leading figures among the Kemalist-secularist bloc within the party. Tarhan is also a strong supporter of the Gezi Park protests. Once, she sat on the ground to prevent a water cannon vehicle from passing through the protests. That is the reason world-famous Turkish pianist, Fazıl Say, recommended her for the leadership of the CHP.