Turkish President clarifies discourse difference
Turkish President Abdullah Gül (R) holds a press conference after he meets with President Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of Congo (L). Daily News photo, Selahattin SönmezPresident Abdullah Gül said Nov. 15 that the “discourse difference” between him and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stemmed from the constitutional definition of each one’s duties, not a conflict between personal views.
Speaking at a joint press conference following talks with President Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of Congo, Gül was asked to elaborate on his remarks in a Nov. 13 interview with leading U.K. daily Financial Times in which he spoke of a “difference of discourse” between him and Erdoğan.
“I as president am not a politician. ... I represent or look at the picture from a broader perspective and I embrace everyone... [but] I wouldn’t say something if I didn’t believe it,” Gül told the Financial Times.
Yesterday Gül said whatever he and Erdoğan say was being twisted. “In the interview to the newspaper you cited, I said Mr. Prime Minister is at the same time a party leader, thus his discourse would be different and is different; I, as a president, need to be more impartial within the framework of the responsibility that is assigned by the Constitution, thus my discourse and style are different,” Gül said.
Tension emerged last month between the country’s top two officials following Gül’s reported instruction to Ankara’s governor to tolerate people who wanted to celebrate Republic Day despite a government ban, prompting Erdoğan to say Oct. 30 that “double-headed rule” would not benefit Turkey.