All about Gul

Turkeyand’s former President Abdullah Gandul has always tried to portray himself as pragmatic politician a reformer and a democrat.
After almost disappearing from Turkeyand’s political theater, he is back in the spotlight following the release of Abdullah Severand’s book and”12 years with Abdullah Gandul: I lived, saw and wrote.and” Sever worked as Ganduland’s chief press aiser when he was serving as the ruling Justice and Developmentand’s Partyand’s (AKP) foreign minister, prime minister and president. Hence, Sever was privy to many of the shenanigans in the corridors of power and differences of opinion between Gandul and the other movers and shakers in Ankara, particularly President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoilu.
This book is the first of its kind since the AKP came to power in 2002 and has been read and approved by Gandul. This indicates that Gandul is ready to clarify the often ambiguous perceptions over his relationship with Erdogan. The fact that the book was published after the June 7 general election indicates that Gandul did not want it to influence the outcome or be blamed if the result did not go as the AKP would have liked — which was the case, as it turned out. The book lets the cat out of bag on numerous issues related to both Turkeyand’s foreign and domestic policy.
During his time as president, Gandul did not agree with many of the governmentand’s foreign policy choices, in particular those related to Syria and Egypt, believing that ultimately these policies were damaging Turkeyand’s interests, credibility and, in some cases, undermining the countryand’s security. It is clear from the way that Erdogan and then-Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoilu forged ahead, undoubtedly dreaming of leading a Sunni regional bloc, that despite the efforts of Gandul to explain his concerns, they really were not interested in his opinion and frequently undermined his efforts to reduced tensions. When Gandul sent a message to Egyptand’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on June 11, following Sisiand’s election as president, Erdogan criticized Gandul, stating, and”I must be honest, these congratulations hold no meaning for me because it is not possible to offer congratulations to a coup leader.and” Gandul has been proved correct in his assessment because today, Davutoiluand’s foreign policy has left the country isolated in the region and distrusted by many former allies, with the government accused of sectarian tendencies. Whatever new coalition is eventually formed in Turkey, it will not be an easy task to recalibrate relations with this part of the world.
Gandul also took a far more conciliatory tone related to the 2013 Gezi Park protests than Erdogan, who acted like a bull in a china shop. Sever explains how Ganduland’s son Mehmet brought 10 of his friends to the presidential office to explain their take on the unfolding Gezi events, which helped shape Ganduland’s understanding of and approach to the situation. During the Twitter ban, while Erdogan vowed to andquotwipe outand” Twitter, Gandul said that websites should only be blocked if courts found they had violated personal privacy. Nevertheless, it cannot be forgotten that Gandul signed into law a number of undemocratic bills, including one that boosted the governmentand’s control over the judiciary in order to allow it more control over the Internet.
Apparently, Gandul did not want to leave the AKP after Erdogan became president but was sidelined by his old friend, who prevented him from taking up the AKPand’s leadership. In a recent interview with Handurriyet, Sever states that Gandul once said that if he were to take the reins at the party again, he would make sweeping changes, stating: and”I would take Turkey back to the days when its star shined. I would revitalize the EU ascension process, fix foreign policy and take the necessary steps to cure the deep divisions in the country.and” Indeed, these days there is a lot of speculation over whether or not Gandul will make a return to the AKP. While many in the AKP would welcome his leadership, Severand’s book underlines that Gandul will only return on the condition that Erdogan stays within the constitutional ceremonial limits of his office. Much depends on the future of Erdogan, because for Erdogan it is still not game over and next few months will show us whether he is going to be down and out and isolated or whether he will bounce back, and what this will mean for Gandul.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman