Former President Gül confirms Turkey’s top soldier visited him
Former President Abdullah Gül on May 4 confirmed that Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar had visited him previously, while refuting claims that the top soldier visited him to threaten him to not run for president.
“It was a visit paid during the day and in front of everyone. So it wasn’t a secret,” Gül told reporters after Friday prayers.
“There were no threats, impositions or disrespect during the visit,” he added.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu had claimed that Turkey’s top soldier and chief presidential advisor threatened Gül not to run for presidency and called on them to make a clear statement about the meeting ahead of the key parliamentary and presidential elections.
“It is an attempt at military tutelage,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in a parliamentary group meeting on May 3.
Kılıçdaroğlu referred to the visit by Akar and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s chief advisor İbrahim Kalın to Gül on April 24. The visit wasn’t denied by any of the three figures and no explanation had been made either following the allegations.
On April 28 Gül ended weeks of speculations that he would stand against Erdoğan in the presidential election and announced he would not run for president.
“There is no longer any question of my candidacy,” Gül told reporters, citing a lack of “broad consensus” between opposition parties for his nomination.