President Abdullah Gül has confirmed that he will not run for a second term in the upcoming presidential elections in August.
“I will not present my candidacy. I already told this to Mr. [Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan before the March 30 [local elections]. My office will end on Aug. 28,” Gül told reporters after the annual Gazi derby at Istanbul’s hippodrome on June 29.
Gül’s statement comes two days before the date set by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for the announcement of its own candidate.
Erdoğan is widely expected to run in the elections after months of uncertainty about Gül’s willingness to push for his own candidacy.
Responding to questions on whether he would accept the position of prime minister, Gül said, “Those are things that will be talked about later.”
The two main opposition parties in the Parliament, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), formalized the nomination of former Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) chief Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu as their joint candidate on June 29.