World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has turned down a donation to his campaign war-chest for August's presidential election from an unusual source - his main rival.
Leading opposition candidate Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu on Monday surprised his two opponents by donating 1,000 Turkish lira ($470) to each of their campaign funds, in what his supporters described as a fair play gesture.
Ihsanoglu is the joint candidate for the country's secularist and nationalist parties, and his office said the academic, diplomat and former head of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) made the symbolic gesture "to encourage a gentleman-like period of campaigning".
Polls show Ihsanoglu, who is seen as above the rough-and-tumble of Turkish domestic politics, has a mountain to climb if he is to overturn Erdogan's 20-point lead.
Erdogan's lawyer however confirmed the sum was returned at the request of the prime minister. Ihsanoglu's other rival was more amenable to the idea.
"Professor, you went to the trouble, thank you," Kurdish presidential hopeful Selahattin Demirtas wrote in a tweet that was shared more than 4,000 times.Güncelleme Tarihi: 14 Temmuz 2014, 18:07