‘These are our last receptions,’ says outgoing Turkish President Gül
President Gül accepted the letter of credentials introduced by Malian Ambassador to Turkey, Birahim Soumare on June 27. AA PhotoPresident Abdullah Gül issued a farewell-like message on June 27, as he described his acceptance of a letter of credentials presented by ambassadors “as his last reception.”
“These are our last receptions,” Gül told reporters, as he accepted the letter of credentials introduced by Malian Ambassador to Turkey, Birahim Soumare.
Gül’s short statement is regarded as a message of farewell to the presidency, where he has served since August 2007. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to officially announce his bid for the presidency on July 1.
Gül had earlier said he had no political plans for the future under the given conditions, which was widely interpreted as meaning that he did not want to become a “puppet” prime minister under Erdoğan’s presidency.
More than 52 million voters will go to the polls in August to elect Turkey’s 12th president in a first ever direct vote. The first round of the elections, in which the candidates will need an absolute majority of the valid votes to be elected the next president, will be held on Aug. 10. The second round, if needed, will be held on Aug. 24 between the two candidates who received the most votes in the first round.
Turkish expatriates will be entitled to vote in the election for the first time ever, with polling stations to be opened at 103 different diplomatic representations in 54 different countries.
Some 71 diplomatic mission buildings will serve as voting centers, while 32 other venues will be rented for voting as well. In the past, Turks living abroad could vote in polling stations at border gates.
The exact number of voters is not certain yet, since the address declaration is ongoing, but Turkish authorities are making arrangements for 2,700,000 votes, which will amount to around 5 percent of the overall vote.
According to the calendar announced by the Supreme Election Board (YSK), the political parties will be able to make nominations for presidential elections starting from June 29 until July 3. The propaganda period will begin on July 11 after the YSK finalizes its scrutiny over candidates and publish their names at the Official Gazette.