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Turkish foreign minister says he will not withdraw bid for presidency

Turkish foreign minister says he will not withdraw bid for presidency

Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, the presidential candidate of the Islamic-rooted ruling party, said Sunday that he will not withdraw his bid after he failed to win in a first-round of parliamentary voting.
Opposition parties boycotted the vote and challenged its validity in the Constitutional Court amid tensions between secularists and the pro-Islamic government.
In Ankara on Sunday, TUSIAD _ an influential association of Turkish industrialists and businessmen _ issued a statement saying immediate early general elections were necessary "to protect secularism and democracy."
The military had issued a stern warning on Friday accusing the government of tolerating the activities of radical Islamic circles.
"It is out of the question to withdraw my candidacy," Gul told reporters on Sunday. "The Constitutional Court will make the right decision."
Gul did not respond to questions about the military's statement, which was rejected by his government on Saturday.
The TUSIAD statement said, "The indivisible integrity of secularism and democracy lays the foundations of the Turkish republic, a sacrifice of one for the other is unthinkable."
"Turkey can healthily emerge from this process by lowering tensions and renewing the will of the nation," it said.


Updated : 2021-03-09 04:04 GMT+08:00