Ankara (AsiaNews) – Abdullah Gul is trying again: he wants to be President of the Republic. Thrown out by parliament in May, the foreign minister has reaffirmed his thoughts about a possible candidacy, buoyed by his party, the AKP’s 46% landslide victory in last Sunday’s elections. “Nobody – he said yesterday - can place a political ban on others. It is out of the question that I should rule myself out as a candidate”.
While avoiding explicit reference to his possible candidacy, Gul affirmed that “there is no need to rush things," he said, adding that progress must be made "with great political maturity in the direction indicated by the results”.
Gul was first nominated for the presidency earlier this year but his candidacy was attacked by Turkey's secular establishment - in particular, the powerful military – as president he would become their head – for his Islamicist origins. Opposition also came from outgoing President Ahmet Necdet Sezer- Gul’s wife always wears the veil – forbidden by Turkish law in public office – this is why she has never taken part in official ceremonies hosted by the Head of State, a stalwart of Turkey’s “secular” state.
“No” to Gul’s aspirations to the presidency was one of the recurring slogans during “secularist” demonstrations last May, along with: “Turkey is and will remain a secular state” and “No to Sharia in the presidential palace”.