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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Gul Wins Vote for Turkish Presidency - New York Times

Gul Wins Vote for Turkish Presidency - New York Times: "Gul Wins Vote for Turkish Presidency By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Filed at 10:04 a.m. ET ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- A devout Muslim with a background in political Islam won the Turkish presidency on Tuesday, in a major triumph for the Islamic-rooted government after months of confrontation with the secular establishment. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul received a majority of 339 votes in a parliamentary ballot, Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan said. Ruling party legislators broke into applause. ''Abdullah Gul was elected Turkey's 11th president, with 339 votes,'' Toptan said. ''I congratulate him.'' The vote took place a day after the military, which has ousted four governments since 1960, issued a stern warning about the threat to secularism. Gul's initial bid for president was blocked over fears that he planned to dilute secular traditions. ''Our nation has been watching the behavior of those separatists who can't embrace Turkey's unitary nature, and centers of evil that systematically try to corrode the secular nature of the Turkish Republic,'' Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, chief of the military, said in a note on the military's Web site Monday. Gul, 56, has promised to uphold secularism. But Turkey's president has the power to veto legislation, and Gul has failed to allay secularist fears that he w"

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