Turkey's President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan held their first meeting to discuss upcoming presidential elections April 24 with both ruling out a political crisis on the eve of crucial decisions, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
"Discussions [on the presidential elections] are only natural. Such discussions happen to be in places where pluralism exists. What is important is that these discussions should take place in respect to the acknowledged rules [of elections]. The rules for the upcoming presidential elections are explicit. There should not be any sort of risk of unpredictability for Turkey," Gul said in his address at the 100th year of the foundation of the Adana Stock Exchange April 24.
Gul recalled that Turkey proved its maturity in holding elections and will continue to do so and has therefore requested businessmen not to get hung up about presidential elections. Gul's statement coincided with an ongoing debate on who will replace Erdogan in the case of his decision to run for presidency in August.
In the meantime, the two leaders met late April 24 as part of their routine meetings and held an initial talk about the issue. Erdogan had said the meeting will be the initial one, but they will probably hold a more comprehensive discussion in May, following the completion of his consultation with his party. Erdogan has ruled out any crisis between him and the president and underlined that this will be resolved without causing chaos for Turkey.
Erdogan has not made his decision yet for presidency, but his Justice and Development Party (AKP) overwhelmingly supports his potential bid, underlining that it's his right to become Turkey's next president. Erdogan convened around 1,100 AKP delegates in Ankara yesterday and held consultations with them for more than four hours. Many delegates voiced their willingness to see Erdogan as president, while few of them advised him to stay prime minister for the sake of the AKP's success at the polls in next year's parliamentary elections.
Erdogan, however, in his address to the delegates, gave strong signals for candidacy and assured that there are so many capable politicians in the AKP that can lead the party to higher success.