Davutoğlu likely to be next PM: President Gül
Serkan Demirtaş - ANKARAOutgoing President Abdullah Gül has become the highest level official to name Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu as Turkey's next prime minister, two days before the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) announces its next leader.
“As far as it seems, our foreign minister Ahmet Bey will take over [the Prime Ministry]. You know that it’s me who brought him into politics and into state life. It was me who appointed him as an ambassador,” Gül told the Ankara bureau chiefs of Turkish newspapers late Aug. 19, on the sidelines of his last farewell reception.
President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is yet to conclude his consultations with AKP officials before officially announcing who will succeed him as the chairman and the prime minister. Gül’s announcement came two days before the AKP convenes its Central Executive Board (MYK) to give the final decision on the issue.
Davutoğlu was first appointed as the chief foreign policy advisor of Gül during the latter's short period as prime minister in early 2003. He continued to serve as advisor to both Erdoğan and Gül until 2009, when he was appointed foreign minister. Davutoğlu was elected to Parliament in 2011 elections.
Gül underlined that he will not hesitate to share his experience and his knowledge with Davutoğlu in the future. On his plans after his term in office ends on Aug. 28, Gül said he "will continue to serve for the well-being of the party as its founder," without giving further details.
The outgoing president also chose to remain silent on questions about whether he felt offended as Erdoğan closed the door to his return to the AKP by holding the party's extraordinary convention just a day before his presidency ends.
However, one point on which Gül expressed his disturbance was an ongoing media campaign apparently directed against his staff and advisors at the presidency. Underlining that he was observing "disrespect" from certain circles against him and his staff, Gül said “All my staff are professionals who are trying to do their jobs.”