Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Combative Turkish Secularist Picked to Lead Challenge to Erdogan

  • Main opposition nominates party veteran Ince for election
  • June vote will cap Turkey’s shift to all-powerful presidency
Muharrem Ince, Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) candidate, delivers a speech during the start of his campaign in Ankara on May 4.

Muharrem Ince, Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) candidate, delivers a speech during the start of his campaign in Ankara on May 4.

Photographer: Adem Altan/AFP via Getty Images

For a Turkish politician dogged by accusations that he downed a beer on a public beach during Ramadan, it was an eye-catching choice of venue to kick off his campaign to be the country’s next president.

Hours after being named the candidate of Turkey’s chief opposition group, the CHP, 54-year-old party veteran Muharrem Ince attended a historic mosque in an ultra-conservative Ankara neighborhood for Friday prayers.