Following a news report claiming the former President Gül is considering a to return to politics, representing the AK Party, President Erdoğan has suggested that he would be in favour of such a move.
The report published by ‘Habertürk’ said that Gül and Erdoğan had already discussed the possibility of Gül running in the parliamentary elections on 7th June and were due to meet soon for further talks.
“The issue of his candidacy is up to Mr. Gül to decide. I had a conversation with him last night, I called him and gave my best wishes for his father, who is ill,” Erdoğan told reporters asking about Gül’s possible bid for Parliament. “His decision [to run for Parliament] would be good. It would be for the best. It would be appropriate. But the decision is up to him.”
Along with Erdoğan, Gül is a co-founder of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party). Erdoğan took over the post from him as president in August 2014, becoming the first Turkish president to be elected directly by the people.
Speculation about rivalry between Erdoğan and Gül emerged when the former president had hinted that he might return to politics representing the AK Party. Gül, however was prevented from re-joining the AKP when a party convention was re-scheduled only days before he was due to officially hand over the post of president to Erdoğan. Since the hand-over, Gül has kept a low profile.
Gül is expected to run for Parliament for İstanbul instead of Kayseri, his home town and previous constituency, according to the report, which also said that some third-term AK Party representatives, who will not be able to run for Parliament again due to a party rule that bans re-election for a fourth time, insist that Gül return and play an active role in the party administration.