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Turkey's new president vows to defend secularism

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Turkey's new president vows to defend secularism

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Newly elected Turkish President Abdullah Gul, who has broken with political Islam has stated he is loyal to secularism. His AK party’s election landslide victory in July gives him a strong presidential mandate. The new president enjoys widespread popular support but besides the military’s cool reception of his election many Turks are divided in their opinion of their new head of state.

An elderly man commented: “I can’t accept Abdullah Gul being president. This will be the first time in history that the wife of a president wears a head scarf and I think it is a shame.”

As the election results show not all Turks had this negative reaction but two Turkish women differed in their opinions. The first one said: “Absolutely this will be good for the country and I approve of it. I hope people will support him.”
But the second woman had another opinion of the new president.

“I don’t think it is good. I think the republic and the secular system are in danger,” she said.

Some observers see Gul’s presidency as a major triumph for the country’s Islamic-rooted government after months of confrontation with the secular establishment.