Gul to stand for Turkish presidency

Abdullah Gul the Turkish foreign minister to be ruling party candidate.

    Tayyip Erdogan [R], the Turkish prime minister, announced Gul's candidacy [AFP]
    Parliament, where his ruling AK party has a big majority, elects the president.
    Erdogan told a gathering of AK parliamentarians: "After all our research and discussions for the 11th president, our dear foreign minister Abdullah Gul has been proposed for the presidency."
    Secular protests
    Gul is a respected diplomat, who has overseen the launch of European Union accession talks as foreign minister.
    Profile: Abdullah Gul

    Presidential candidate

    Senior members of the AK party, which has roots in political Islam, have said they are concerned that they would lose votes in a November general election if Erdogan, Turkey's most charismatic politician, became president and quit party politics.
    Erdogan has never said he would run but had strongly hinted at the possibility.
    April 25 is the deadline for registration of candidates. Parliament will begin the first round of votes on April 27. The key vote will be held on May 9.
    Elections for parliament are due in November.
    The constitution says the president must remain impartial and cannot get involved in national politics, which would bar Erdogan from campaigning.
    Pressure had mounted on the government in recent weeks.
    Earlier this month, more than 350,000 people rallied in Ankara against a possible Erdogan presidency.
    Erdogan is accused of undermining secularism by, for example, trying to ease restrictions on the Muslim headscarf and promoting religious supporters in the bureaucracy.
    The armed forces chief General Yasar Buyukanit and outgoing president Ahmet Necdet Sezer have warned of threats posed to the republic in comments seen as warnings to Erdogan.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.