Former Turkish President Gül’s advisor’s book makes waves in AKP ranks
Deniz Zeyrek - ANKARAA controversial new book by Ahmet Sever, who served as an advisor to President Abdullah Gül for 12 years, which revealed a number of splits of opinion between Gül and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), has triggered reactions from the AKP.
Among those responding was former Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin, who reportedly denied involvement in the drafting of an article regulating presidential elections that barred Gül from being a candidate for another term.
Turkey’s first presidential election was held on Aug. 30 last year, which brought former President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the seat after the media speculated whether Gül would run for another term.
Sources told Hürriyet that Ergin said he opposed such a special article in 2012, but it was nevertheless added upon a move by AKP representatives at a parliamentary commission that drafted the new law.
Gül’s seven-year press advisor Ahmet Sever, who also served the former president during his time as prime minister and foreign minister, claimed in the book that his boss told Ergin to avoid such an article.
“We can deal with this issue within ourselves. There is no need for such a ban through a legal change. Such a code will hurt me,” Sever quoted Gül as telling Ergin in the book, titled “Abdullah Gül ile 12 Yıl” (12 Years with Abdullah Gül).
However, Ergin has reportedly denied that Gül would be involved in such a demand, according to sources.
Another reaction to the new book came from Energy Minister Taner Yıldız, who criticized Sever and said he disagreed that Gül and Erdoğan had any differences.
“I don’t agree with that,” Yıldız told reporters on June 15.
He added that the style of both men was to talk to face-to-face rather than conveying message through advisors.
“Conveying historical facts through an advisor does not befit this style,” Yıldız said, adding that publishing information in this way was “interesting.”
“In the current environment, this kind of debate won’t change the two presidents’ approach toward their cause and their perspective of the state,” he stated.
The reaction of pugnacious AKP deputy Şamil Tayyar, meanwhile, was uncompromising.
“I think the public expects an explanation from Gül,” he told journalists in Ankara.
“I do not think Ahmet Sever’s book is a well-intentioned study … We can see that it is an attempt to throw a grenade into our party,” Tayyar added.