Former President Gul confirms Turkey’s top soldier visited him
Former President Abdullah Gul on May 4 confirmed that Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar had visited him previously, while refuting claims that the top soldier visited him to threaten him to not run for president Hurriyetdailynews reported
“It was a visit paid during the day and in front of everyone. So it wasn’t a secret,” Gul told reporters after Friday prayers.
“There were no threats, impositions or disrespect during the visit,” he added.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu had claimed that Turkey’s top soldier and chief presidential advisor threatened Gul not to run for presidency and called on them to make a clear statement about the meeting ahead of the key parliamentary and presidential elections.
“It is an attempt at military tutelage,” Kilicdaroglu said in a parliamentary group meeting on May 3.
Kilicdaroglu referred to the visit by Akar and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s chief advisor İbrahim Kalin to Gul on April 24. The visit wasn’t denied by any of the three figures and no explanation had been made either following the allegations.
On April 28 Gul ended weeks of speculations that he would stand against Erdogan in the presidential election and announced he would not run for president.
“There is no longer any question of my candidacy,” Gul told reporters, citing a lack of “broad consensus” between opposition parties for his nomination.