Ex-President Gul blanks huge AK Party Istanbul rally

Turkeyand’s former President Abdullah Gandul is not planning to attend the massive election rally of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), which will be held by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoilu in Istanbuland’s Yenikapi district on Saturday, according to a report by the Radikal daily.
The AK Party election rally titled andquotCelebration of the Conquestandquot — referring to the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul in 1453 — is currently being promoted on billboards and banners all over the city and is expected to have a significant turnout. Gandul is among the founders of the AK Party and recently mentioned his part in the founding of the party in a speech to the media as part of an exchange of words with AK Party officials.
According to Radikal, Gandul told those who invited him about his decision not to participate in the AK Party rally, which will be the partyand’s largest rally ahead of the June 7 general election. Gandul reportedly explained his decision to those in his close circle by saying: andquotAfter I resigned from the presidential office, I didnand’t attend any political meetings or rallies. I am pursuing this attitude.andquot
Radikal reported that Gandul also stated his decision to not play an active role in politics andquotunder the current circumstances,andquot a statement he has previously made to the media. Gandul reportedly added: andquotThis is not a reactionary stance, they are my colleagues. I am the founder of this party and I want them to succeed.andquot
According to the Turkish Constitution, a president is supposed to remain out of politics, breaking his links with his party, as soon as he is elected and should have an impartial stance towards all political parties. However, President Erdogan has been defiant in the face of criticism directed at him regarding his violation of the Constitution in this regard. He recently said at a public rally that he has the right to use state resources to conduct campaign rallies across Turkey ahead of the June 7 parliamentary elections.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman