Turkish President Gül receives questions via Internet

Turkish President Gül receives questions via Internet

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish President Gül receives questions via Internet

President Gül hosts the young people whose questions topped the list. DHA photo

President Abdullah Gül kicked off a fresh initiative to boost direct communication with the public at the weekend, as he received a group of young people whose questions for Gül topped the list in an online vote.

The visitors were taken on a brief tour of the presidential palace and had a lunch with Gül’s aides before they posed their questions personally to the president. The questions were voted the best among nearly 14,000 that Internet users posted for Gül as part of the newly-launched “Ask the President” initiative.
Gül, an enthusiastic Internet user, covered a wide range of issues in his responses to the questions. He denied he had ambitions to become the next secretary-general of the United Nations, even though he encouraged Turks to seek high-level positions at international organizations.

Some of Gül’s more remarkable comments came in response to a young police officer who asked why trade unions were not allowed in his profession. 

“This is a critical issue. If any kind of division of partisanship penetrates this profession, it will be very damaging for Turkey,” Gül said, adding that police trade unions in the 1970s had sharply polarized the security forces along ideological lines. “We are very anxious about this because we had such an experience. I believe the issue for police unionizing must be left for some other time in the future,” he said.

Gül objected to suggestions for a ban on the use of foreign words in company names and advertising on grounds that it would amount to a “repressive mindset.” He answered a number of other questions pertaining to the quality of television programs, unemployment, urbanization, private education courses and the problems of university personnel.

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