ANKARA: Turkish foreign minister Abdullah Gul has won a simple majority in the third phase of the presidential elections. Earlier, he could not get the required majority in the first two phases. Gul’s wife has been criticised for wearing the headscarf and having religious beliefs due to which he is facing criticism. Abdullah Gul, during his election campaign, has repeatedly said that he would continue implementing the secular traditions of Turkey after becoming the president.
He is the first politician with an Islamist background to become head of state since the creation of secular Turkish Republic in 1923. Gul took his oath at a ceremony in parliament, pledging loyalty to democracy and to the secular Republic. “As long as I am in office, I will embrace all our citizens without any bias,” he said. Abdullah Gul used to belong to an Islamist party, and his candidacy created uproar in Turkey for months, inspiring street protests and forcing an early general election.