The controversies between current and former presidents of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Abdullah Gul remain one of the key topics of the country’s political agenda.
Abdulkadir Selvi, columnist at the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News, referred to this topic, stating that “Erdogan declared a war against Gul”.
During his January 9 speech at the Justice and Development party faction it was expected that Erdogan would touch upon the issue of cooperating with leader of nationalists Devlet Bahceli, but, surprisingly, he started talking about Gul. He said the following: “Anyone who was in our party in the past, and now is elsewhere, has no right to say anything about our party”.
Abdulkadir Selvi reminded the statement made from Gul’s Office according to which Gul will continue to share his opinions over the ongoing developments in the country.
“Let’s see whether Gul will remain silent, or will comment on these criticisms”
Trying to understand the reasons of Erdogan’s such behavior, the columnist reminded that Abdullah Gul opposed Erdogan and voted “no” during the April 16 constitutional referendum. In addition, Gul posted on Twitter regarding the decree signed by Erdogan which supposes to set immunity against all civilians who exerted pressure or harassed the participants of the July 15 military coup attempt. Gul called this step as “strictly concerning”.
“Of course, all this played their role, but now the talk is about a far-reaching strategy. Erdogan has set a clear line between Abdullah Gul and the Justice and Development Party ahead of the 2019 presidential elections. The goal of this is to eliminate the sympathy towards Gul existing in the party. What happens in future will be clear after Gul’s position”, the columnist said.