GUL PREFERS GORBACHEV, NOT MEDVEDEV MODEL

Abdullah Gul

Everyone is curious about if former President Abdullah Gül will run for Parliament after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called on him to do so in a move that came as a surprise to many.

As Taha Akyol announced, Abdullah Gül is currently not considering running for Parliament.

Gül does not approve the “Putin-Medvedev” model, which may be the outcome of Erdoğan’s invitation.

The better metaphor for what Gül may approve is the “Gorbachev” model. He seeks to take steps that would be better suited to his former presidential position and “statesman” identity. He tends to use his credibility in prestigious environments and national and international platforms. It seems so.

We can liken it to what former US President Bill Clinton does. Mr. Gül will make appearance in civil organizations with emphasis on his “brand” value.

If Erdoğan’s proposal and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu‘s invitation will be as such, the mission Gül seeks to undertaken will be described above.

Why doesn’t Gül come? Why doesn’t he run for Parliament?

This attitude does not mean that he is keeping his hands off from politics. Gül is keeping the door to active politics ajar!

But he nurtures certain objections and drawbacks regarding the current circumstances. It is very unlikely for him to return to politics in the current circumstances.

Let me list his reasons:

Mr. Gül rightly nurtures certain “resentment.” What he witnessed during the last year of his presidential office was really upsetting.

More importantly, one day before he handed over his office to Erdoğan, the party congress was convened hurriedly, and he got the message intended for his ears.

Therefore, Gül cannot accept the typology of a politician who was consulted “out of necessities.”

Gül does not agree totally with the party’s or, more correctly, President Erdoğan’s projection.

For instance, he does not believe that Erdoğan’s goal of introducing a “presidential system” should be their priority.

Gül will be reluctant to return to active politics in order to become just a parliament speaker and he won’t be inclined to be part of a solution that includes a presidential system with Erdoğan at its top or any system that does not have room for a prime minister.

Gül’s return will imply that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has shelved the plan to transition to a presidential system.

I don’t think Gül agrees on who will be employed in the front ranks of the AK Party. Certain AK Party politicians who came to the fore in this period will certainly have problems with Gül.

Gül will want to work with certain politicians who will not be able to run for Parliament due to the AK Party’s three-term ban such as Bülent Arınç, Beşir Atalay and Hüseyin Çelik.

The time is not ripe for Gül’s return.

Can’t we still expect a novel development despite this?

Throwing a curve” is in the very nature of politics and anything can be expected to happen in Turkey.

The political scene may change very fast. Surprises, weird alliances and unexpected friendships or hostilities may emerge at any time.

The rumor I heard is that President Erdoğan will persistently urge Gül to return. Erdoğan is expected to meet with Gül this week.

Prime Minister Davutoğlu will most probably pay a special visit to Gül to invite him to the party and politics.

Can they persuade Gül? It won’t be a walk in the park! But as I said, “this is politics!”

If Gül decided to run for Parliament, this means that his terms and conditions are accepted.

This will in turn signal a change of staff and policy within the AK Party.

Let me summarize the picture as such:

Gül hasn’t rule out his potential return to politics, but he won’t be running for Parliament under the current circumstances. His current option is to serve as an “international” statesman like Mikhail Gorbachev or Clinton. Erdoğan is planning to meet Gül in private. If Gül is persuaded, we can conclude that Erdoğan and the AK Party give up with the plan to introduce a presidential system.

Gül will wait and see the results of the elections slated for June 7 before taking a position. The rumor in Ankara is that if Gül returns, he will return as the party’s chairman. For this to happen, the AK Party should be yearning for his return to save them.

Here, there is also a risk for Gül. The next general election will be held four years after June 7, 2015. If he does not take the plunge today, he may end up alienated from active politics until the next election.

Another possibility discussed in Ankara is that there will be “chaos” in the wake of the election of June 7 and another election might be held in one year.

If the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) fails to pass the election threshold and cannot enter Parliament, this may drag the country into a chaotic atmosphere.

In conclusion:

The political cauldron of Ankara was boiling on the day when Hakan Fidan withdrew his application to run for Parliament and Gül was invited to return to active politics.

People are beginning to smell a rat! Everyone including the ruling and opposition parties are looking for answers to the following questions:

Isn’t President Erdoğan on good terms with Prime Minister Davutoğlu?

Is it true that the AK Party’s vote has dropped to 42 percent according to the latest polls?

Does Erdoğan see Gül as a “savior”?

Have you heard that Numan Kurtulmuş is kept in the wings for a post-June 7 scenario?