Former president says he won’t form new party
Speculation lingers over Abdullah Gül's next steps. AA PhotoFormer Turkish President Abdullah Gül has reiterated that he will not form a new political party, despite the fact that new President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan blocked his return to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) as its chairman.
“From time to time I read speculations about a new party. None of these have accuracy. I have already made my statements about these issues,” Gül told reporters on Sept. 19.
Gül handed over the presidency to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Aug. 28, after seven years in the position. He made clear his intention to return to the AKP, which he had co-founded, as the party’s chairman, but Erdoğan left no place for him as he slotted former Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu into the role of chairman and prime minister.
“I will act in the way that former presidents acted in the past. I will help my friends [in the party]. I will give all my support to the president and to my friends in the government for their success,” he said.
Gül said the government, the prime minister and all other ministers are determined to serve the people and the country. “I always feel proud of them. I will lend all my support for their success,” he added.
The former president also said he left his office to Erdoğan with a “mind of peace,” as the pair concluded the process with “democratic maturity.” “I am sure that my valuable brother Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will carry this flag I left, and Turkey will surely continue its path as a strong, prosperous and happy country,” he said.
Gül recently made his first trip back to his hometown, Kayseri, since leaving the presidency, where he was welcomed by a huge cheering crowd.