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    * Abdullah Gul *

    عبدالله گل

    (Wikipedia) - Abdullah Gül   (Redirected from Abdullah Gul) Reis-i Cumhur Abdullah Gül 11th President of TurkeyPrime Minister Preceded by Succeeded by 24th Prime Minister of Turkey President Deputy Preceded by Succeeded by Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey Prime Minister Preceded by Succeeded by Minister of Foreign Affairs Prime Minister Preceded by Succeeded by Personal details Born Political party Spouse(s) Children Alma mater Religion Signature Website
    In office 28 August 2007 – 28 August 2014
    Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
    Ahmet Necdet Sezer
    Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
    In office 18 November 2002 – 14 March 2003
    Ahmet Necdet Sezer
    Abdüllatif Şener Mehmet Ali Şahin Ertuğrul Yalçınbayır
    Bülent Ecevit
    Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
    In office 28 March 2003 – 28 August 2007 serving alongside Abdüllatif Şener and Mehmet Ali Şahin
    Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
    Ertuğrul Yalçınbayır
    Cemil Çiçek
    In office 14 March 2003 – 28 August 2007
    Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
    Yaşar Yakış
    Ali Babacan
    (1950-10-29) 29 October 1950 (age 63) Kayseri, Turkey
    Welfare Party (Before 1997) Virtue Party (1997–2001) Justice and Development Party (2001–2007) Independent (2007–present)
    Hayrünnisa Özyurt (1980–present)
    Ahmet Münir Kübra Mehmet Emre
    Istanbul University University of Exeter
    Sunni Islam
    Official website

    Abdullah Gül, i/ɡuːl/ (Turkish pronunciation: ; born 29 October 1950) is a Turkish politician who served as the 11th President of Turkey, in office from 2007 to 2014. He previously served for four months as Prime Minister from 2002 to 2003, and concurrently served as both Deputy Prime Minister and as Foreign Minister between 2003 and 2007.

    Advocating staunch Islamist political views during his university years, Gül became a Member of Parliament for Kayseri in 1991 and was re-elected in 1995, 1999, 2002 and 2007. Initially a member of the Islamist Welfare Party, Gül joined the Virtue Party in 1998 after the latter was banned for anti-secular activities. When the party split into hardline Islamist and modernist factions in 2000, Gül joined fellow party member Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in advocating the need for reform and moderation. He ran against serving leader Recai Kutan for the Virtue Party leadership on behalf of Erdoğan, who was banned from holding political office at the time. As the candidate for the modernist camp, he came second with 521 votes while Kutan won 633. He co-founded the moderate Justice and Development Party (AKP) with Erdoğan in 2001 after the Virtue Party was shut down in the same year, while hardline conservative members founded the Felicity Party instead.

    Gül became Prime Minister after the AKP won a landslide victory in the 2002 general election, since Erdoğan was still banned from office. His government had removed Erdoğan''s political ban by March 2003, after which Erdoğan became an MP for Siirt in a by-election and took over as Prime Minister. Gül subsequently served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister until 2007. His subsequent bid for the Presidency drew strong and highly vocal opposition from ardent supporters of secularism in Turkey and was initially blocked by the Constitutional Court due to concerns over his Islamist political background. He was eventually elected Turkey''s first Islamist President after the 2007 snap general election.

    As President, Gül has come under criticism for giving assent to controversial laws which have been regarded by the political opposition as unconstitutional. In June 2013, he signed a bill restricting alcohol consumption into law despite initially indicating a possible veto, which was seen as a contributing factor to sparking the 2013-14 anti-government protests. Other controversies included a law tightening internet regulation in 2013, a law increasing political control over the judiciary in 2014 and a law giving the National Intelligence Organisation (MİT) controversial new powers also in 2014. Gül has nevertheless taken a mediating approach at times of national crises, such as during anti-government protests and government corruption scandals, causing a rift to develop between him and Erdoğan, who was elected President in 2014.


    Early life

    President Gül was born in Kayseri, a city in central Anatolia. Coincidentally, he was born on the 27th anniversary of the proclamation of Turkish independence. His father is Ahmet Hamdi Gül, a retired air force mechanic, and his mother is Adviye Gül (née Satoğlu). His family has lived in the Güllük district of Kayseri for about a century. His ancestry/ethnicity according to a Çankaya Presidential Residence statement is "Turkish Muslim." Gül was also called with the name Cumhur (which means ''people'') by his family.


    Gül studied Economics at the Istanbul University. During his graduate education, he studied for two years in London and Exeter in the United Kingdom. Whilst in the UK he was on the Executive Committee of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS). He pursued an academic career after that and worked at the higher education facilities in Adapazarı, collaborating in the establishment of the Department for Industrial Engineering and teaching Management courses at the ITU Sakarya Engineering Faculty, which later became the Sakarya University in 1992. He received a PhD degree from the Istanbul University in 1983. He is also conferred to an Honorary PhD degree from Amity University, NOIDA -India on 8 February 2009, and an LL.D. degree from University of Dhaka on 13 February 2010. Between 1983 and 1991, he worked at the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. In 1991, he became a lecturer in International Management.

    Entry into politics

    Gül became acquainted with right-wing politics early during his high school years. During his university education, he became a member of the Islamist-nationalist Millî Türk Talebe Birliği (National Turkish Students'' Union) in the line of Necip Fazıl''s Büyük Doğu (Grand Orient) current.

    He was elected a member of the Turkish parliament for the Refah Partisi (RP, "the Welfare Party") from the Kayseri electoral district in 1991 and 1995. During these years, he made statements about the political system of Turkey that was designed by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and the Turkish National Movement, which included "This is the end of the republican period" and "The secular system has failed and we definitely want to change it". These statements caused controversy when his candidacy for the 2007 presidential election was announced by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

    In 1999, he kept his seat as a member of the Fazilet Partisi (FP, "the Virtue Party") which was subsequently outlawed by the Constitutional Court for its violation of the Constitution. Its predecessor, the Refah Partisi, was also outlawed by the Constitutional Court for its violation of the Constitution, especially the principle of secularism. By this time, Gül had apparently moderated his views and was reportedly considered to be part of the Virtue Party''s reformist faction. As such, he was among the founders of the Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (Justice and Development Party), a party which billed itself as a moderate conservative party in the European tradition. He was elected once again to represent Kayseri in 2002.

    An interview he gave in 2002 summarizes his criticisms of the Refah Partisi under the leadership of Necmettin Erbakan and his portrayal of the AKP as a moderate party:

    "In the Welfare Party, there were groups demanding sharia rule. Welfare did not represent the local values we are now cultivating. The ideology of the party was partially shaped by alien imports. Our vision was at odds with the rest of the party. The despotic rule of Erbakan Hoca made it impossible for us to realize our vision under the rubric of the National View. We believe that modernization and being Muslim complement each other. We accept the modern values of liberalism, human rights, and market economy."

    AKP career Prime ministerU.S. Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah Gül in Pentagon, Washington, D.C., 2003

    After the Justice and Development Party (AKP) won the most votes in the November 2002 general election, Gül was appointed Prime Minister, as AK Party leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was unable to assume the role due to a ban on his participation in politics. After Gül''s government secured legislation allowing Erdoğan''s return to politics, the latter took over as prime minister on 14 March 2003. Gül was appointed deputy prime minister and foreign minister.

    Foreign minister

    After becoming foreign minister in March 2003, Gül became the key player in Turkey''s attempts to receive an accession date for the European Union and in its attempts to improve relations with Syria and maintaining its relationship with the Turkic-speaking countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus. On 8 January 2008, Gül flew to the United States to meet with U.S. President George W. Bush and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

    Presidency: 2007-2014Gül with U.S. President Barack Obama on Obama''s first visit to Ankara, 6 April 2009.

    Prime Minister Erdoğan announced on 24 April 2007 that Gül would be the Justice and Development Party candidate in the 2007 presidential election. Previously, there had been speculation that Erdoğan himself would be the party''s candidate, which had provoked substantial opposition from secularists. When a boycott of opposition parties in Parliament deadlocked the election process, Gül formally withdrew his candidacy on 6 May 2007. If elected he would be the first president to have been involved with Islamist parties.

    But a few days later, on 11 May 2007 when he inquired after the alterations to the Turkish constitution which now allowed the people to elect the president directly rather than a parliamentary vote, Gül announced that he was still intending to run.

    Following the July 2007 parliamentary election, the AK Party renominated Gül as its presidential candidate on 13 August; the election was again held as a vote of parliament. On 14 August, Gül submitted his candidacy application to parliament and expressed his commitment to secularism at a news conference.

    On 28 August 2007, he was elected president in the third round of voting; in the first two rounds, a two-thirds majority of MPs had been required, but in the third round he needed only a simple majority. Gül was sworn in immediately thereafter. The process was a very low-key affair. Gül''s swearing-in was not attended by the Chief of the Turkish General Staff and was boycotted by the opposition Republican People''s Party; then the hand-over of power at the presidential palace was held behind closed doors. Gül''s wife was not present. This approach continued; the traditional evening reception hosted by the new president at the presidential palace for the country''s highest authorities was announced for 11:30 in the morning and wives were not invited.

    His presidency has been described as a "new era in Turkish politics", for being the first devout Muslim president of Turkey.

    Gül awarded "Statesman of the Year" by Queen Elizabeth II, 2010.

    Gül received messages of congratulation from the US, EU and German authorities while Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdoğan made a statement saying "a structure doomed to uncertainty has been overcome" (an oblique reference to the deep state theory that Turkey is ruled behind-closed-doors by a secret conspiracy of soldiers and bureaucrats).

    In September 2008 he became the first Turkish leader to visit Armenia, sparking a major debate in Turkey.

    In November 2011, President Gül led a state visit to the United Kingdom as a guest of Queen Elizabeth II. The President met political and business leaders, visited the Olympic Park and was guest of honour at a state banquet at Buckingham Palace.

    In November 2013, Abdullah Gul called on Muslim countries to fight against Islamophobia during his address at the 29th session of the COMCEC in Istanbul. he said:

    "Islamophobia remains a critical problem, which instigates unsubstantial prejudices against our region and Muslims. Terror plays a role in the persistence of such problems. We have to combat any form of deviation playing into the hands of people who equate terrorism with Islam, the religion of love, tolerance and conciliation,"

    Statements on the Middle EastAbdullah Gül and his wife Hayrünnisa Gül with former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and Kim Yoon-ok in Seul, 2010

    Gül has been a critic of Israel and Western countries which established relations with Israel at the expense of Palestine. After the Israeli raid on the MV Mavi Marmara in 2010, he advocated the complete ending of diplomatic relations with Israel, stating that "Israel will turn into a complete apartheid regime in the next 50 years if it does not allow for the establishment of an independent and proud Palestinian state with its capital in east Jerusalem. That is why we are exerting efforts to achieve a fair peace with a strategic point of view, which is to Israel''s own interests."

    On 31 December 2012, he stated with respect to the Arab spring and democratization of the Arab world: "But democracy is not only about elections. The task of creating essential democratic institutions – the rule of law, habits of accountability, gender equality, and freedom of expression and faith – still awaits these countries". Gül believes that the Arab world has a long road ahead and that it needs to do more to entrench and embrace democratic government.

    History of titles Honours and medals National honours Ribbon bar Award or decoration Country Date Place Note Ref.
    Medal of Honor of the Republic of Turkey  Turkey 7007201408280000000 28 August 2014 Ankara
    Foreign honours Ribbon bar Award or decoration Country Date Place Note Ref.
    Pro Merito medal by European Council  European Union 7007200200000000000 2002 Brussels
    First Class Order of Abdulaziz Al Saud  Saudi Arabia 70072007110900000009 November 2007 Ankara The order was named after Abdulaziz Al Saud.
    Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath  United Kingdom 700720080513000000013 May 2008 Ankara British order of chivalry.
    Necklace of Independence  Qatar 7007200908170000000 17 August 2009 Istanbul
    Grand Collar of the Order of Prince Henry  Portugal 7007200905120000000 12 May 2009 Ankara Portuguese National Order of Knighthood.
    Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic  Italy 7007200911170000000 17 November 2009 Ankara The highest ranking honour of the Italian Republic
    Collar of the Order of Mubarak the Great  Kuwait 7007200912210000000 21 December 2009 Kuwait City
    2010 Chatham House Prize  United Kingdom 7007201003200000000 20 March 2010 London Gul awarded "Statesman of the Year" by Queen Elizabeth II.
    Order of Merit of Cameroon  Cameroon 7007201003310000000 16 March 2010 Yaoundé Second highest order in Cameroon.
    Nishan-e-Pakistan  Pakistan 7007201003160000000 31 March 2010 Islamabad Pakistan''s highest civil order.
    Grand Cross with Chain Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary  Hungary 7007201111150000000 15 November 2011 Ankara The highest state order and second class of Hungary.
    Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion  The Netherlands 7007201204160000000 16 April 2012 Amsterdam Netherlands'' Lion, established in 1815.
    Order of the Golden Eagle  Kazakhstan 7007201210110000000 11 October 2012 Ankara The highest decoration of Kazakhstan.
    Knight of the Order of the Seraphim  Sweden 7007201303110000000 11 March 2013 Stockholm The highest order awarded by Swedish Royalty
    St. George''s Victory Order  Georgia 7007201304190000000 19 April 2013 Ankara Second highest state decoration awarded by President of Georgia.
    Star of President Order  Turkmenistan 7007201305290000000 29 May 2013 Ashgabat The first order given to foreign president in Turkmenistan.
    Grand Cross with Collar of Order of St. Olav  Norway 7007201311050000000 5 November 2013 Ankara The highest ranking honour of the Kingdom of Norway.
    Heydar Aliyev Order  Azerbaijan 7007201311120000000 12 November 2013 Ankara The highest national order of Azerbaijan.
    Knights of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau  Luxembourg 7007201311180000000 18 November 2013 Ankara The highest national order in Luxembourg.
    Magtymguly International Prize  Turkmenistan 7007201406030000000 3 June 2014 Ankara
    Order of State of Northern Cyprus  Northern Cyprus 7007201407190000000 19 July 2014 Northern Nicosia The highest national order in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
    Danaker Order  Kyrgyzstan 7007201409080000000 8 September 2014 The highest national order in Kyrgyzstan.

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