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19:36, 19 February 2017 Sunday
17:44, 02 August 2012 Thursday

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Akdoğan rules out tension between PM, Gül over presidency
Akdoğan rules out tension between PM, Gül over presidency
(File Photo)

AK Party deputy Yalçın Akdoğan said that he does not see any tension between the prime minister and the president.

World Bulletin / News Desk

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's chief advisor and Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy Yalçın Akdoğan has said there is no tension between the prime minister and the president over a presidential bid contrary to rumors in the media.

“I do not see any tension between the prime minister and the president. Yet, some people may be hoping for tension [between the two]. It is a big mistake to evaluate the relationship between the two over statements or political debates,” Akdoğan told a Turkish newspaper in an interview.

The deputy's remarks came in response to claims that Erdoğan and President Abdullah Gül have been at odds since the president's press secretary stated earlier this week that Gül may run for a second term in office in the presidential elections scheduled for 2014.

There is growing public and political expectation that Erdoğan will run for the presidency in the 2014 elections and that he will make it to the Çankaya presidential palace. The prime minister has never made an implicit statement to this end, but has made indirect remarks to this effect on various occasions.

Gül's press secretary, Ahmet Sever, however, said Gül may pose his candidacy for president in the 2014 elections as he is eligible for re-election. Even though he said his remarks were an expression of his personal opinion only, political analysts said they also reflect the president's own position since such critical comments could not have been expressed without his approval.

According to Akdoğan, stirring debates over presidential elections while there are still two years ahead is “disrespectful” to both the prime minister and the president. “Mr. President will sit in his [presidential] chair for two more years. Expressing comments [about his bid to get re-elected] is disrespectful both to the president and the prime minister,” he said.

Ever since he was elected to the presidency in 2007, Gül, a former prime minister and foreign minister, has been working hard to reach out to all segments of society and to open the doors of the Çankaya presidential palace to the public. A mild and soft-spoken leader, Gül also assumes a mediating role among political parties, helping them reach consensus on national issues on which they are in disagreement.

The AK Party deputy also expressed criticism of Gül's press secretary over his remarks that Gül was saddened to hear that some members of the ruling party voiced the opinion that the president would not run for president for a second term. Akdoğan said there is no topic in Turkey that cannot be talked about or discussed.

When the Constitutional Court rejected in June an appeal filed by the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) requesting the annulment of a law limiting the presidential term to seven years for incumbent Gül and said the president is eligible to run for another term, some AK Party members said Gül is unlikely to announce that he will run in the 2014 presidential elections.

Akdoğan also added that neither Erdoğan nor Gül would need “messengers” to convey their messages on important issues to the public. “Statements made through messengers serve nothing other than to raise tension in the country,” he noted. According to Akdoğan, several recent public opinion polls suggest that the prime minister and the AK Party remain popular among Turks.

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Press agenda on February 19
Press agenda on February 19

Here are the main topics World Bulletin’s English Desk plans to cover Sunday Feb. 19, 2017 (coverage may change depending on developing/breaking stories): BAGHDAD Iraqi forces launch an offensive on jihadists defending Mosul's west bank, in what could be the most brutal fighting yet in a four-month-old operation on the city. 700 words 0530 GMT by Ammar Karim and Jean-Marc Mojon US-militant-Egypt-prison,2ndlead WASHINGTON The sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, an Egyptian-born cleric linked to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, dies at 78 in a US prison facility after a long battle with diabetes and coronary artery disease. 650 words moved by Maggy Donaldson. File Picture Ukraine-Russia-conflict,WRAP MOSCOW A truce between government forces and pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine will come into force Monday, Moscow and Kiev say, though some separatists are already labelling it unfeasible. 500 words moved by Anais Llobet Entertainment-film-festival-Germany,WRAP BERLIN Hungary's "On Body and Soul", a love story set in a slaughterhouse, wins the Golden Bear top prize at the Berlin film festival, Europe's first major cinema showcase of the year. 700 words moved by Deborah Cole. Picture. Video Also moved: Entertainment-film-festival-Germany-prizes,FACTS Entertainment-film-festival-Germany,POINTS Entertainment-film-festival-Germany-winners,CHRONO -- ASIA -- NKorea-Malaysia-diplomacy-community,SCENE KUALA LUMPUR Malaysia's only North Korean restaurant promises a glimpse into life in the reclusive state but it has been shuttered since news broke of the assassination of leader Kim Jong-Un's brother, with security guards turning customers away. 650 words 0600 GMT by Elizabeth Law. Picture. Video -- AMERICAS -- US-politics-Trump-Melania,lead MELBOURNE, Florida First Lady Melania Trump, usually a demure and soft-spoken presence at her husband's side, breaks with form, reciting the Lord's Prayer before issuing a scathing rebuke of his enemies and her critics at a campaign-style stop in Florida. 600 words moved by Michael Mathes with Stephanie Griffith in Washington. Picture. Video. US-media-politics-technology WASHINGTON As President Donald Trump warns of a crackdown on US government leaks to media, interest is growing in technology tools that allow sources to share information anonymously. 750 words moved by Rob Lever Venezuela-politics-opposition-US CARACAS Venezuela and the United States lock horns again over political prisoners held by Caracas, including over the detention of a jailed opposition leader whose supporters took to the streets of the capital to demand his release.