Outgoing President Gül hints no plan to retire anytime soon
Abdullah Gül waves after making a speech at a fast-breaking dinner hosted by the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB), July 14. AA PhotoLeaving the presidential office does not necessarily mean stopping service to the country's people, outgoing President Abdullah Gül has said, adding that he will "not stay out of sight" after completing his tenure next month.
Delivering a speech at a fast-breaking dinner hosted by the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) on July 13, Gül stressed the importance of "maturity" during "tough periods" that countries often have to pass through.
“I have always considered giving service to this honorable nation to be the most noble and the most sacred mission. No doubt, I will also continue serving my nation from now on,” he added, indicating that he will remain a key political actor in Turkish politics.
“Of course, there are many ways of performing services to the nation. Let’s see how we will do it; but we will always be together,” he said.
After being elected as a lawmaker in March 2003, current Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, now presidential hopeful, took over the Prime Ministry from Gül. Gül remained in Erdoğan’s Cabinet until being elected president in August 2007 after months of tension and controversy. His election became possible only after the AKP government narrowly escaped an intervention by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in 2007, when military forces issued a warning against the candidacy of then-Foreign Minister Gül, mainly because his spouse wears a headscarf, seen as an alarming symbol of “fundamentalism.”