Turkish President Gül bids farewell while emphasizing need for democracy
AA PhotoTurkey’s main agenda should be rule of law, high democratic standards, accountability and good governance, outgoing President Abdullah Gül has said, underlining the significance of continuing political, economic and social reforms for the stability of the country’s future.
Gül’s indirect call to the government came just a month before the end of his tenure as the president.
“Our main agenda should be prevailing principles like good governance, transparency, accountability and the rule of law, as well as increasing quality in education, high democratic standards and the full membership process to the European Union. I am of the opinion that placing a priority on these issues will contribute to Turkey’s protection of its character as a predictable country in the long term; to keep its economic and political stability and to increase its confidence and welfare,” Gül said in a written statement on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr. Recalling that his tenure would end Aug. 28, Gül said it was his last message on the occasion of the religious fest.
“I am sure that Turkey will be a country much more developed and prosperous in the 100th year of our republic [in 2023],” he said.
Due to sufferings of millions of Muslims, especially in Gaza, Iraq and Syria, the Islamic world is celebrating Eid al-Fitr with bittersweet joy, Gül said, adding that another priority that was attracting the delicate work of Ankara was securing the release of 49 Turkish citizens kidnapped by jihadists in Iraq.
“Attacks targeting innocent people and disregarding their sacred right to life cause deep concerns and sorrow. What gives more pain is that Muslims kill each other,” he said.
Describing Israeli attacks against Palestinians in Gaza as a “crime against humanity,” Gül said innocent people were being massacred without regard to whether they are children, women or the elderly. “What is more concerning is the fact that all related parties and international organizations remain incapable of dealing with this problem that could trigger bigger problems.”
Turkey will continue to side with Palestine
Repeating his calls to Israel to stop its offensive against the Palestinians and to the international community and the Islamic world to intensify efforts to end the sufferings of innocent people and bloodshed, Gül said: “Israel must immediately end its attacks. Turkey has been doing and will continue to do its part in reaching a lasting and sustainable peace and in supplying immediate humanitarian aid to the region. Turkey, with all its force, will continue to side with Palestine.”
Gül also described Turkey as a secure island in its region that is in a circle of fire because of ongoing unrest and turmoil, adding that it would continue to grow in stability. “That’s why we should know the value of our country, of our unity and integrity and of our brotherhood.”
‘I will continue to serve for Turkey’
Touching on his impending departure, the president said: “I want to make this clear: I will leave my office with a great feeling of peacefulness. I have tried to fulfill this very honorable responsibility in the best way. I have pursued my duties in loyalty to the Constitution and in impartiality.”
Gül also said he had always defended democracy, the rule of law, human rights and freedoms. “I have embraced everybody without discrimination. I have met with all the segments of the society. I have stood at an equal distance to everybody.”
With the understanding that “serving the people is serving God,” Gül said he would continue to remain at the service of the Turkish people.