Former President Gül abstains from further commenting in row with Erdoğan

Former President Gül abstains from further commenting in row with Erdoğan

ANKARA
Former President Gül abstains from further commenting in row with Erdoğan

Former President Abdullah Gül said he did “not want to get into a further argument” over the recent polemic that erupted with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials, after he criticized a controversial recent state of emergency decree law.

“It would not be my place to enter into an argument over these subjects,” Gül told reporters after Friday prayers in Istanbul on Jan. 12.

Gül had attracted criticism from within the AKP and its leader Erdoğan after he criticized the state of emergency decree law exempting civilians who fought against the 2016 coup attempt from criminal liability.

“Those who were once under our party’s roof but have now taken to drifting around outside in a different sort of mood have no right to say anything about our party,” Erdoğan said in a speech to the AKP parliamentary group on Jan. 10, without directly naming Gül.

"Those who have fallen from the train will stay where they have fallen,” he added.

Saying he was reluctant to comment further on the issue, Gül said “everything is clear, everybody knows each other. I do not want to enter into an argument with friends.”

State of emergency

Regarding the cabinet’s latest decision to extend the state of emergency for a sixth term, Gül said he “hopes this will be the last extension.”

“In my opinion it has been referred to the parliament for the last time,” he added.

“Of course Turkey has experienced an extraordinary period recently. [The state of emergency] was necessary to bring things under control. But to normalize everything and to show that democracy in Turkey is fully working would be a huge favor for Turkey. It would be a grand hope for everybody,” Gül said.

abdullah gül, president, Erdoğan