Victory Day reception off due to Gül’s illness

Victory Day reception off due to Gül’s illness

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Victory Day reception off due to Gül’s illness

President Abdullah Gül (R) chaired a meeting of the National Security Council (MGK) yesterday. The declaration from the meeting underlined the threat from Syria. AA photo

Aug. 30 “Victory Day” reception that was to be hosted by President Abdullah Gül at the Çankaya presidential pavilion has been canceled due to the head of state’s recent acute ear infection.

Gül was advised yesterday to stay in the hospital for five more days to continue intense medical care, as doctors recommended that the president not attend Victory Day ceremonies and festivities.

Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek will stand in for Gül at other festivities. If it had not been canceled, the reception would have marked a historic watershed in regards to Turkey’s efforts at civilianization as it would have been the first time that a president would have hosted a Victory Day reception. In the past, Victory Day receptions were hosted by the chiefs of General Staff at military-owned venues.

Gül left the Hacettepe University Hospital to head the National Security Council (MGK) meeting. While temporarily checking out of the hospital at 1:15 p.m., Gül said, ‘’I am fine, thank you,’’ as a huge crowd expressed their wishes for his recovery.

In a written statement yesterday, Hacettepe University Rector Dr. Murat Tuncer said, “It has been recommended to our president that he continue his daily activities [in a limited form] and not participate in the Victory Day ceremony and pageant.’’

Tuncer released the statement following a committee meeting in which academics from different hospitals participated. He said Gül had recuperated significantly. “As a follow-up to this recuperation process, Abdullah Gül needs to stay in the hospital for five more days and continue intense medical treatment,” said Tuncer, adding that Gül’s treatment and clinical observation would continue.

Following the MGK meeting, Gül was set to return to the hospital as the Hürriyet Daily News went to print. The MGK meeting came a day after the Çankaya presidential pavilion hosted a trilateral summit Aug. 27 in which Gül, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel participated. The 62-year-old president suffered from increased fluid and pressure in both ears and had to cut a trip to Kyrgyzstan short on Aug. 23 in order to return home for treatment. The recurring ear infection is something the president has struggled with for years. Upon his return, he was immediately rushed to Hacettepe University Hospital.