Arab journalists see Turkey’s early polls ‘important’

Handful of prominent Arab journalists shared their views with Anadolu Agency on Turkey's early elections scheduled for June 24.

On April 18, Turkish parliament passed a bill calling for early elections on June 24, cementing Turkey's move to a presidential system.

"I think that Turkey after June 24 will not be the same. Turkey will enter a new phase, which is not only important for Turkey, but also for the whole region," Ahmed Mansour, Al-Jazeera's notable presenter, told Anadolu Agency.

"The upcoming elections sees first voting under the new presidential system, which I expect will qualify Turkey to possess a leading role in the region more than before," he added.

In an April 2017 referendum, Turkish voters approved the switching from a parliamentary system to a presidential one.

"In the recent years, Turkey has achieved big progress on different areas, especially in the personal incomes, military industries, and health sector, which encouraged people to vote in different polls," Mansour said.

Nabila Habibulla, a Mauritanian journalist and writer, said: No matter what the result will be, the most important thing is to give the people their right to choose, when people freely and transparently choose, they make their future themselves."

Habibulla also commended the Turkish nation on playing their part in defeating the 2016 coup bid.

"Again, whatever the result will be, I bet on the awareness of the Turkish people, who failed the 2016's coup attempt and acted responsibly to protect their democracy."

Iliana Badr of Lebanese Al-Jadeed TV channel said: "I am following the Turkey's early elections and we look Turkey as a country under a transitional stage"

"However, I followed reports related to previous polls in Turkey confirming that they were conducted in a transparent manner," she added.

"I was here in Istanbul during the coup attempt. There is something I admire here -- the people's passion and belonging to their country," she said.

Mahir Shawish, the Istanbul-based Palestinian writer, said: "What I have noticed is that there is more attention towards the presidential than that in the parliamentary elections and this is attributed to the change occurred in the country's political system."

"Me, as a Palestinian and a refugee who was previously based in Syria, see that the issue of Palestine and the issues of refugees and the oppressed are very much discussed during these elections."

Turkey's Supreme Election Board has released an unofficial candidates list for the June 24 presidential elections.

According to the list, six candidates will run for the presidency that include Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Muharrem Ince, Meral Aksener, Selahattin Demirtas, Temel Karamollaoglu and Dogu Perincek.

Source: Anadolu Agency