President Abdullah Gul has confirmed that he will not run for a second term in the upcoming presidential elections in August, Hürriyet Daily News reported.
"I will not present my candidacy. I already told this to Mr. [Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdogan before the March 30 [local elections]. My office will end on Aug. 28," Gul told reporters after the annual Gazi derby at Istanbul's hippodrome on June 29.
Gul's statement comes two days before the date set by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for the announcement of its own candidate.
Erdogan is widely expected to run in the elections after months of uncertainty about Gul's willingness to push for his own candidacy.
Responding to questions on whether he would accept the position of prime minister, Gul said, "Those are things that will be talked about later."
The two main opposition parties in the Parliament, the Republican People's Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), formalized the nomination of former Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) chief Ekmeleddin ?hsanoglu as their joint candidate on June 29.