Since I was busy in Lisbon, I missed the action. Turkey’s former president and a long time comrade of Abdullah Gül was rumored to become the presidential candidate of allied opposition. This rumor was ended at last by Mr. Gül’s own press release. However, he waited until the last minute when no one believed anymore he could be a candidate. It appears that it was not a rumor, he and some others believed he could be a candidate. It seems that İYİ Party was particularly effective in killing his candidacy.
For the outsiders, he could be a really good candidate. He is well educated, he is moderate etc. It seems he could steal some votes from Erdoğan.
However, Abdullah Gül proved repetitively that he had no capacity to act in times of crisis. He was rightfully called the notary of Erdoğan during his presidency. I cannot imagine how someone in Turkey’s opposition could imagine him as a candidate. Whatever chair he has, he is a good -underdog part- team member but he cannot have the willpower to get his own leadership position. Well, if I am given the chair, I could be a president myself. I guess anyone could do that.
My personal take is this:
Before a critical internet regulation that would lead to more censorship in his late years as President, I am personally knowledgeable that some reliable colleagues told him the real nature of this regulation and he said he would act accordingly. The next day, he repeated what AKP leadership said about the regulation. He was like a parrot. That day I lost any belief that he could ever use his willpower.
I am too glad that another case of Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu is prevented. However, I am still not too hopeful if the opposition can have a good candidate. We will see.
In the meantime, I have no idea why alternative online news site, T24 where some critical liberals authors have columns, could start a sort of campaign for Mr. Gül. They should not be that naive…