06 May 2007

Gül steps down as presidential candidate

After a second unsuccessful parliamentary vote where he stood for the position of Turkish head of state, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül has withdrawn his candidacy. Because of the Islamist origins of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, Gül's run for president aroused fervent opposition among large segments of Turkish secularists (Белорусские новости).

It remains to be seen how Turkey can come out of this impasse. Earlier, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that he would like to have the president directly elected by Turks in the future. But I think it's quite likely that the secularists would try to block any such move, having already twice disrupted the presidential election in parliament by depriving the sessions of a quorum.

It seems the opposition parties are determined to subject Turkey to some form of minority rule.

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