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Turkey elects ex-Islamist as president


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Turkey elects ex-Islamist as president

28/08/2007 15h20

ANKARA (AFP) - The Turkish parliament on Tuesday elected Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul as president, making him the secular republic's first head of state with an Islamist past.

Gul, who is deeply mistrusted by the secular establishment, won 339 votes in the 550-member parliament, well above the simple majority of 276 votes required in the decisive third round ballot.

The governing Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has its roots in a banned Islamist party, had failed to get Gul elected in the first two rounds of voting held last week, with its 340 seats falling short of the required two-thirds majority.

The other two contenders -- Sabahattin Cakmakoglu from the right-wing Nationalist Action Party and Tayfun Icli from the centre-left Democratic Left Party -- got 70 and 13 votes respectively in Tuesday's ballot.

It was a moment of glory and vindication for both the AKP and the 56-year-old Gul, whose first bid for the presidency in April was blocked by army-backed secularists who contend that the ruling party has a secret plan to dismantle Turkey's secular system.

The AKP has disowned its Islamist roots, pledged loyalty to secularism and conducted far-reaching reforms that stabilised the economy and ensured the start of Turkey's membership talks with the European Union.

Full story

ED:Garble

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And now?

We wait and see. If he tries to dismantle the secular-oriented state, the military will hopefully step-in and do it's duty.

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Their main goal is to weaken army for years but it is not so easy, now they got all critical positions such as PM, President of Republic and President of Parliament and gain 5 more years, lets see what will happen but i think not good days for Turkey. Also all Europe, US supporting AKP who are best on “taqqiyya”, and AKP captured nearly all the medias in Turkey, censoring everything against them. President of Republic was always selected by compromise until to this election and this will cause a problem because Gül is not seen as a President who will embrace the whole nation by many people.

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Their main goal is to weaken army for years but it is not so easy, now they got all critical positions such as PM, President of Republic and President of Parliament and gain 5 more years, lets see what will happen but i think not good days for Turkey. Also all Europe, US supporting AKP who are best on “taqqiyya”, and AKP captured nearly all the medias in Turkey, censoring everything against them. President of Republic was always selected by compromise until to this election and this will cause a problem because Gül is not seen as a President who will embrace the whole nation by many people.

I dont think we have to worry, the Turkish Army will keep a lid on things they took over in 1997 so they could always do it again, be interesting to see how things go,

Steve,

never liked the idea of having Turkey in the EU

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Its because to someones, Turkey doenst have enough cultural similarity whit europe. If for that, Argentina have more cultural similarities than Turkey. :D

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I agree Turkey shouldn't be in the European Union. Turkey is a Mongol/Arabian nation of muslims, some who are extremists. They're not culturally European is my point. Turkey would be better off joining a Middle Eastern Union or something.

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And now? nothing will happen.

If anything - Turkey will become more democratic.

Turkey has been secular for the last 85 years - even the so-called "Islamists" over there are more similar to the Christian Democrats in Germany than to Al-Qaeda.

The newspapers like to draw attentions and get more ratings and so they sometimes intentionally leave few details out so their articles will have more "spice" to them.

For instance - the article fails to mention that the main reason these "islamists" get to power is that a large part of the liberals in Turkey vote for them to weaken the power of the military in politics.

Gul has been working for ages to get Turkey in the EU as a foreign minister - he ain't gonna change it to a theocracy now that he got elected as president.

If anything, the latest political changes in Turkey just show how the Turks aren't only culturally and economically part of Europe, they also have similar political trends - in the last 7 years we see in Europe a wave of traditionalism, of more right-wing parties and candidates get elected, of conservatism becoming popular in Europe again. The same is happening in Turkey - Gul is a conservatist Turkish-style.

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