27 Facts About Abdullah Gül


Abdullah Gul previously served for four months as Prime Minister from 2002 to 2003, and concurrently served as both Deputy Prime Minister and as Foreign Minister between 2003 and 2007.

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Abdullah Gul is currently a member of the Advisory Panel for the President of the Islamic Development Bank.

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Abdullah Gul ran against serving leader Recai Kutan for the Virtue Party leadership at a time when Erdogan was banned from holding political office.

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Abdullah Gul co-founded the moderate Justice and Development Party with Erdogan in 2001 after the Virtue Party was shut down in the same year, while hardline conservative members founded the Felicity Party instead.

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Abdullah Gul became Prime Minister after the AKP won a landslide victory in the 2002 general election while Erdogan was still banned from office.

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Abdullah Gul's government removed Erdogan's political ban by March 2003, after which Erdogan became an MP for Siirt in a by-election and took over as Prime Minister.

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Abdullah Gul subsequently served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister until 2007.

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Abdullah Gul was eventually elected Turkey's first President with a background in Islamic politics after the 2007 snap general election.

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Abdullah Gul took a mediating approach during the Gezi Park anti-government protests and government corruption scandals.

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Since leaving office, Abdullah Gul has progressively become more publicly critical of his successor, Erdogan, and the democratic backsliding in Turkey.

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Abdullah Gul was mooted as a potential joint opposition candidate in the 2018 Turkish presidential election, initially supported by the Republican People's Party and the Felicity Party.

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However, having failed to gain the support of the third major opposition party, namely the IYI Party, Abdullah Gul announced that he had taken his name out of consideration due to the lack of universal opposition-backing.

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Abdullah Gul has since been involved, though not officially, with the Democracy and Progress Party of fellow former AKP member Ali Babacan.

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Abdullah Gul was born in Kayseri, central Anatolia on 29 October 1950, the 27th anniversary of the proclamation of Turkish independence, known as Republic Day in Turkey.

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Abdullah Gul's father is Ahmet Hamdi Gul, a retired air force mechanic, and his mother is Adviye Satoglu.

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Abdullah Gul was conferred an honorary PhD degree from Amity University, Noida on 8 February 2009, and a LL.

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Abdullah Gul became acquainted with politics early during his high school years.

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Abdullah Gul was elected a member of the Turkish parliament for the Refah Partisi from the Kayseri electoral district in 1991 and 1995.

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On 8 January 2008, Gul flew to the United States to meet with US President George W Bush and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

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Prime Minister Erdogan announced on 24 April 2007 that Abdullah Gul would be the Justice and Development Party candidate in the 2007 presidential election.

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Abdullah Gul's swearing-in was not attended by the Chief of the Turkish General Staff and was boycotted by the opposition Republican People's Party; then the hand-over of power at the presidential palace was held behind closed doors.

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Abdullah Gul's presidency was described as a "new era in Turkish politics", for being the first president of Turkey with a background in Islamic politics.

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Abdullah Gul received messages of congratulation from the US, EU and German authorities while Turkey's prime minister Tayyip Erdogan made a statement saying "a structure doomed to uncertainty has been overcome".

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In September 2008 Abdullah Gul became the first Turkish leader to visit Armenia where, in meetings with President Serzh Sarkisian, the two leaders formulated a solution to the tendentious problem of the genocide question, sparking a major debate in Turkey, but both the Armenian and Turkish parliaments refused to ratify the agreement.

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In November 2011, President Abdullah Gul led a state visit to the United Kingdom as a guest of Queen Elizabeth II.

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In November 2013, Abdullah Gul called on Muslim countries to fight against what he called Islamophobia during his address at the 29th session of the COMCEC in Istanbul.

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Abdullah Gul has been a critic of Israel and Western countries which established relations with Israel at the expense of Palestine.

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