Turkish President Gül ‘wishes success’ to joint opposition presidential candidate İhsanoğlu
Gül welcomed İhsanoğlu to his presidential residence in Istanbul’s Tarabya neighborhood on July 3. AA PhotoPresident Abdullah Gül has wished success to Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, the joint opposition presidential candidate of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), for the upcoming presidential elections, during a meeting between the two.
Gül welcomed İhsanoğlu to his presidential residence in Istanbul’s Tarabya neighborhood on July 3.
“When a presidential candidate wanted to pay a courtesy visit, I accepted. I met with the prime minister before, and I wished good luck to İhsanoğlu too,” the incumbent president said on July 4.
Following a question about the uncertain future of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) under a possible Recep Tayyip Erdoğan presidency after the Aug. 10 elections, Gül stressed that he was the one of the founding members of the party.
“We are in the election period. After all, I am the founder of a party. These are subjects that we will discuss among us when the time comes,” he said.
His remarks came one day after Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said Gül would not reject the position of prime minister if the ruling AKP appointed him.
Speaking to daily Hürriyet’s Fatih Çekirge, Arınç said an interim premier will be assigned if Erdoğan is elected president in August. A new leader of the AKP will be elected at a general party convention in October, he added.
“At the October convention, if the AKP points to Abdullah Gül [for the seat of prime minister], of course Mr. Gül would not reject this request. He would be a candidate. Gül is a friend of ours who is loved by the nation. He served as the president successfully. He suits the top of our party. There is no three-term rule for him, as he has had a break for seven years,” he said.
Gül had previously said in April that he has no political plans for the future “under the current conditions.”
Erdoğan’s presidential candidacy was announced by the AKP at a ceremony in Ankara attended by 4,000 party affiliates on July 1. In his speech at the ceremony, he made clear that he wanted to be elected president in the first round of the Aug. 10 elections, in which a vote of 50 percent plus one is needed.