Turkey’s parliament votes today to elect the country’s president, and preparations are already being made to celebrate the likely winner, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul.
Gul’s candidacy sparked mass protests earlier this year among supporters of Turkey’s secularist tradition, who peg him as an Islamist-though as Steven A. Cook notes in a recent op-ed, Gul’s moderate political views may be far less dangerous than those of Turkey ’s secularist military leadership.Boston Globe
Turkey’s military chief General Yasar Buyukanit offered a pointed warning against Gul on the eve of the election, saying “centers of evil” threaten Turkey ’s secularist tradition.
The vote comes as the Turkish military amasses troops on the border with Iraq and threatens to snuff out Kurdish separatist militants it believes are taking refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan. Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki today criticized recent Turkish bombardments of northern Iraq, saying they represent an incursion of Iraqi sovereignty.