Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has said he would run for president next year if his party asked him to, at the same time dismissing suggestions of a rift with the current President Gul.
Erdogan will not be able to run for the PM post again in 2015 according to current electoral rules. He has however, had his eye on the presidency, at the same time pushing to enhance presidential powers, unsuccessfully thus far.
“I have not made such a decision for sure yet. If I had made such a decision, I would announce it,” Erdogan said in an interview.
“We have a system, and this system is based on consultation. The most important part of this consultation at this moment is my party. Whatever duty my party tasks me with, whatever it wishes of me, I will endeavour to do it.”
Turkey’s first popular presidential election will take place next year and there is increasing debate as to what roles Gul and Erdogan will want.
Gul could run for a second term if he chose to do so, however, currently he has not made public his intentions.
Despite the fact that President Gul has made speeches which infer criticism of Erdogan’s bellicose style and increasingly less democratic stance, Erdogan has denied the likelihood that the two leaders would clash over the candidacy for president.
Both men were founding members of the AK Party in 2001.
“I don’t believe there will be a decision that will lead to us parting ways. What I mean is we will do the necessary consultation and negotiation amongst ourselves if needed,” Erdogan said.