Islamist Wins Turkish Presidency

aug 07 LGF

A devout Muslim with a background in political Islam won the Turkish presidency on Tuesday, in a major triumph for the Islamic-rooted government after months of confrontation with the secular establishment.

Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul received a majority of 339 votes in a parliamentary ballot and took the oath of office, pledging impartiality and loyalty to Turkey’s historic separation of religion and politics. Commanders from the fiercely secular military were conspicuously absent — a decision many saw as a symbolic protest against the decision to elect a president to a post traditionally held by a secular figure.

“Secularism — one of the main principles of our republic — is a precondition for social peace as much as it is a liberating model for different lifestyles,” Gul said. “As long as I am in office, I will embrace all our citizens without any bias. I will preserve my impartiality with the greatest of care.”