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Abdullah Gül

Abdullah Gül

Abdullah Gül.

(1950-) President of Turkey since 2007 and still in office. Gül was Prime Minister 2002-2003 and Foreign Minister 2003-2007.
Gül's candidacy for the Turkish presidency caused much disturbance throughout Turkey. Accused for Islamist sympathies, and with a wife wearing hijab, he was accused of being a danger to the secular republic.
Gül is remembered for statements about the secular system from the 1990's. Still, as Foreign Minister, he has been strongly involved in bringing forth an accession date for Turkey to the European Union. He was also central in building better relations with Syria.
He is married with 3 children.

1950 October 29: Born in Kayseri into a conservative family, his father being a mechanic.
1971: Graduates from Istanbul University, receiving a BA in Economics.
1980 August 20: Marries Hayrünnisa Özyurt, his 15-year old first cousin.
1983: Receives a Ph.D.
— Moves to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, starts working for the Islamic Development Bank.
1991: Becomes an Associate Professor in Economics.
— Elected to parliament from the Welfare Party.
1996: Appointed Minister of State.
1999: Reelected to parliament, this time from the Virtue Party.
2001 August: Is one of the co-founders of the Justice and Development Party (AKP).
2002 November: Reelected for parliament, now from AKP.
— Appointed Prime Minister, as Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the leader of AKP is banned from participating in politics.
2003 March 14: Replaced as Prime Minister, becomes Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.
2007 April 24: Gül is launched as candidate for the Turkish presidency.
May 6: Following a boycott by opposition parties in the parliament, Gül withdraws his candidacy.
May 11: With alterations to the Turkish constitution which now allowed the people to elect the president directly rather than a parliamentary vote, Gül announces that he was still candidate for the presidency.
July: Parliamentary elections gives AKP 46.6% of the votes. This paved the way for Gül to run for president.
August 28: Elected and sworn in as President of Turkey, in what was the 3rd round of voting.

By Tore Kjeilen