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Ex-president Gul poised to re-enter politics

12 August 2014

Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul has decided to re-enter the political fray following the election of  Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as president, the ‘Financial Times’ reports.

While Erdogan is looking for a replacement for his shortly to be vacated post of prime minister, Gul has said that he would be joining the party once more.

“I was a founder of this party, its first prime minister and its president – there is nothing more natural than returning to the party,” said Gul, whose differences with Erdogan over issues such as the rule of law and the independence of institutions, have become increasingly evident. “My political struggle is clear . . . I am looking to the future.”

Gul’s announcement gave a boost to Turkey’s Bursa stock market which saw stock prices rise in anticipation of Gul’s more conciliatory persona re-emerging on the political scene.

Although Gul has been suggested for the role of prime minister, it appears that he is too independent to be amenable with the fiery Erdogan. Possible alternatives such as the current foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu or Binali Yildirim – former minister for transport.

AK party spokesman, Huseyin Celik said that “Mr Gul does not necessarily have to be prime minister or chairman to take on an important role in the party,”  adding that, “We are ready to embrace him, but the position of our president will be discussed later.

Meanwhile a report by the ‘Independent’ which focusses on Erdogan’s attempts to increase the power of the presidency and his on-going struggle with the Gulen movement, reports that Erdogan promises a “new Turkey”, however not all feel appeased by that statement. Pointing to a split in the nation, one observer, a businessman, Erkan Sonmez 43 who did not vote in favour of Erdogan and who works in an import-export business said:

“I am almost depressed. I worry for my country because I increasingly feel like an alien here. The Prime Minister is talking about a Turkey that I don’t recognise.”

“I can no longer speak to my neighbours who vote for the AK Party – does that sound like a peaceful community to you?

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