Former Turkish President Gül will not run for presidency
Former President Abdullah Gül on April 28 ruled out running for the Turkish Presidency in June, dousing fevered speculation that he would challenge President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“There is no longer any question of my candidacy,” Gül told reporters, citing a lack of “broad consensus” between opposition parties for the fact he will not stand.
Erdoğan announced early presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24 instead of November 2019 and rumors were rife that Gül would run against him.
Erdoğan and Gül founded the AKP with others in 2001. Gül was president between 2007 and 2014 during Erdoğan’s time as prime minister, and after Gül stepped down in 2014 Erdoğan was elected as president.
Gül said Saadet (Felicity) Party leader Temel Karamollaoğlu had independently sought to rally supporters behind the former president.
“I had said that if there was a wide consensus, I would not shy away from doing my bit,” he added.
Meanwhile, last week the main opposition Republian People’s Party (CHP), with whom the Felicity Party have been holding talks for a possible alliance, denied rumors that it had ever considered Gül as a candidate.
“Enough. We are fed up with all the speculations,” CHP parliamentary group chair Özgür Özel tweeted on April 25.
“The only objective here is to create debates and lower morale in the CHP. The CHP has never put Abdullah Gül’s name on the table. It has not done so now and it will not do so in the future,” the post read.
Gül has generally abstained from politics since 2014, a point he again stressed on April 28.
“We are too busy with reciprocal personal attacks and political maneuvering, rather than what is good for Turkey ... Turkey unfortunately does not have a positive agenda. And in this environment we are heading for elections,” he said.