The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtaş, who has been in pretrial detention since November 2016, has declared his personal assets ahead of the June 24 presidential election.
On Wednesday Transparency International called on all presidential candidates in Turkey to declare their assets as well as those of their immediate family members.
In a message posted to his Twitter account, Demirtaş said Transparency International’s call also reached him and that he was declaring his personal assets. “An apartment valued at TL 300,000, a 2013 model automobile with a value of TL 55,000, hundreds of books, thousands of letters and also a university degree.”
With the inclusion of his university degree, he was referring to a controversy over whether incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has a degree from an institution of higher learning.
Erdoğan is the presidential candidate of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the election to be held on June 24.
A university degree is a prerequisite for holding the presidential office in Turkey.
There has been an ongoing debate since Erdoğan’s election in 2014 as to his completion or not of university since the Office of the President has provided no satisfactory documentation of his graduation.
Despite several calls for Erdoğan to produce an original copy of his four-year college degree to prove that he qualifies to be president, no evidence has been forthcoming proving the completion of studies.
It has been argued that the diploma query system of Marmara University, the college Erdoğan attended, was shut down by a court verdict dated July 18, 2014.
Despite challenges for Erdoğan to introduce his college classmates, there have not been any, while Erdoğan often refers to his high-school classmates.