First Islamist Elected President of Turkey Since 1923

Hundreds of thousands of secularist Turks protested this spring concerned that Turkey would be ruled by Islamists.

But, the first ever (ex)Islamist was elected president today anyway.

The BBC reported the news this AM:

Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, a “former” Islamist, has been elected president in a parliamentary vote. He is the first politician with an Islamist background to become head of state since the creation of the deeply secular Turkish Republic in 1923.

This is, of course, the same “former” Islamist who last year called upon the EU states to extend their anti-defamation laws to ensure respect for Islam during the Danish cartoon crisis.

And, the official spokesman for the “former” Islamist Abdullah Gul demanded that Denmark apologize for the Mohammad cartoons last year.

The head of the Turkish Army has voiced concerns in the past over the likelihood of an (ex)Islamist president in Turkey:

“Our nation has been watching the behaviour… centres of evil who are trying to systematically erode the country’s secular structure,” Yasar Buyukanit said in a written message Monday, which made no mention of Tuesday’s parliamentary vote.

The army will not “be deterred by such attacks,” he said.

“The Turkish Armed Forces will not make any concessions … in its duty of guarding the Turkish Republic, a secular and social state based on the rule of law,” Buyukanit added.

When Gul stood for the presidency in April, the opposition blocked his election by boycotting parliament and the army, which has ousted four governments since 1960, warned the government that it was ready to defend the secular order.

Hat Tip BG

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