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Abdullah Gul and the Making of the New Turkey by Gerald MacLean

By Gerald MacLean

Drawing on unique learn, together with in-depth interviews with President Abdullah Gül himself in addition to his spouse and shut circle of associates and associates, this attention-grabbing account bargains a portrait of a guy who has been on the center of the political, monetary, and cultural advancements that experience introduced Turkey to foreign prominence lately. In 2002 Abdullah Gül's democratically elected social gathering won energy and challenged Turkey's political and spiritual legacy. almost immediately after, Gül grew to become a key participant in Turkey's makes an attempt to obtain an accession date for the ecu Union. In 2007 he turned the 1st president of Turkey who used to be additionally a religious Muslim — inflicting political commentators to hail his victory as a “new period in Turkish politics" — and he has considering that been an immense determine in Turkey's diplomatic relationships within the center East and foreign political arena.
An crucial resource for college students of up to date Turkish culture...

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Additional resources for Abdullah Gul and the Making of the New Turkey

Example text

How could it be that such a party could be proving more reformist, more democratic, more enlightened in a European way, than any previous Turkish government? And Abdullah Gül was a great surprise to many, as response to his nomination for the presidency in 2007 quickly proved. Massive protests in Izmir and other western cities against his nomination – almost entirely because his wife, Hayrünnisa, wears a headscarf – were swiftly accompanied by an almost hysterical interest in who he was, where he came from, who were his ancestors, and how he had come to be even considered for the job first held by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk – still a personal hero of intense imaginative power for the secular and urban middle classes.

So the first observation I need to make is that my aims in writing this book are as different from theirs as is my subject. This is not the story of a military leader who forged from the remains of a defeated empire a revolutionary republic of which he became the iconic first president, but the story of an academic banker who founded a political party that achieved democratically elected power by challenging Atatürk’s political legacy, and who became Turkey’s first president from a background in Islamic politics.

It sounds great for them: Gül ordered a biography from an English professor! ’13 Published in the president’s home city, Kayseri Haber was among several provincial newspapers that picked up and developed Sefa Kaplan’s initial report. 14 The fantasy report of my first meeting with the president at Exeter back in 1974 now also involved Gül’s good friend – the journalist Fehmi Koru – who was indeed studying in London but never in Exeter. The piece also claims that the future president of Turkey was working on his PhD at the University of Exeter, when he was enrolled at Istanbul University; though Exeter did indeed present him with an honorary PhD in 2005.

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