Wife of Turkish main opposition candidate visits jailed pro-Kurdish rival Demirtaş’s wife

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem İnce’s wife, Ülkü İnce, on Monday evening visited Başak Demirtaş, the wife of jailed rival Selahattin Demirtaş, at their home in Diyarbakır following a rally held by İnce earlier in day in the predominantly Kurdish city.

“Not a political, but a humane visit,” Ülkü İnce said, according to the Sputnik news website.

“Mrs. Başak is a teacher, you know. I am also a teacher. We did it in solidarity with women and teachers. If Mrs. Emine [President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s wife] was in the same situation, I would visit her, too. If the wife of [Felicity Party (SP) leader Temel] Karamollaoğlu was also in this situation, I would visit her as well,” İnce added.

The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) candidate Selahattin Demirtaş has been in pretrial detention since November 2016.

Başak Demirtaş thanked İnce for her visit via Twitter. “Politics should grow friendships, not hostilities. The ballots are not everything; our values are more important than ballots,” Demirtaş tweeted.

CHP deputy Gaye Usluer, who companied İnce during the visit, described the meeting as “very emotional,” the Politikyol website reported.

“It was not depicted in the pictures, but Mrs. Ülkü İnce showed an interest in Demirtaş’s daughters during our visit. Since she is a teacher, she connected with them very well and gave them books,” she said. Usluer also said Muharrem İnce’s election rally in Diyarbakır attracted many locals without the local CHP branch calling on supporters to attend.

Turkey will hold presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24. (turkishminute.com)

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