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Cablegate: Turkey: It's Official: Fm Gul Announces His

VZCZCXRO9784
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHAK #2084 2261417
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141417Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3390
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J-3/J-5//
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEUITH/TLO ANKARA TU
RUEHAK/USDAO ANKARA TU

UNCLAS ANKARA 002084

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY: IT'S OFFICIAL: FM GUL ANNOUNCES HIS
PRESIDENTIAL BID

REF: ANKARA 2072

1. (U) FM Abdullah Gul submitted his presidential candidacy
to parliament's new Speaker on August 14, formally opening
his bid for the job as the ruling Justice and Development
Party's (AKP) sole candidate. After meeting with several
opposition leaders, Gul told a press conference that, as
president, he would uphold the constitution and strengthen
the basic principles of the Turkish Republic. He pointedly
recited the key constitutional provisions describing Turkey
as a democratic, secular, social state governed by the rule
of law. He called the constitution his guide and promised to
work for Turkey's unity. He pledged to remain impartial, if
elected, and to embrace and protect all Turks in accordance
with Turkey's constitution. Noting that he understands the
"sensitivities" of state institutions, Gul said he would
ensure they work harmoniously.

2. (U) Gul told the press he could not ignore the people's
message of support. He had consulted with his family and his
colleagues, including PM Erdogan, and felt obliged to keep
his campaign promise to run. He met with Nationalist Action
Party (MHP) chair Devlet Bahceli earlier and would meet with
other Turkish leaders. including labor organizations, in the
coming days. Although Republican People's Party (CHP)
officials declined Gul's request for an appointment and have
strongly opposed his candidacy, Gul said he would try to earn
the support of all members of parliament. He added that he
would like to closely cooperate with CHP, along with other
parties, if elected.

3. (U) Gul stressed that, as president, he would continue to
support efforts to open Turkey to the outside world. He
promised to work for greater democracy and respect for human
rights, adding that he would promote Turkey's full EU
membership.

Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/ankara/

MCELDOWNEY

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