By Gerald MacLean
Drawing on unique examine, together with in-depth interviews with President Abdullah Gül himself in addition to his spouse and shut circle of affiliates and neighbors, this attention-grabbing account bargains a portrait of a guy who has been on the middle of the political, monetary, and cultural advancements that experience introduced Turkey to overseas prominence in recent times. In 2002 Abdullah Gül's democratically elected celebration won strength and challenged Turkey's political and spiritual legacy. almost immediately after, Gül grew to become a key participant in Turkey's makes an attempt to obtain an accession date for the ecu Union. In 2007 he grew to become the 1st president of Turkey who used to be additionally a religious Muslim — inflicting political commentators to hail his victory as a new period in Turkish politics" — and he has in view that been a huge determine in Turkey's diplomatic relationships within the center East and foreign political arena.
An crucial resource for college kids of latest Turkish culture...
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Extra resources for Abdullah Gul and the Making of the New Turkey
In the mountains above Samsun, the bloodshed and atrocities reported by both sides only increased after 1919 when the arrival of Greek forces in Izmir emboldened the armed Christian guerrillas. Throughout the ensuing War of Independence (1919–23), the Greek Orthodox communities of Cappadocia and Kayseri never fell out with their Muslim neighbours. They had lived together for centuries and always proved to be loyal subjects of the Ottoman authorities. During the war with Greece, Kayseri remained renowned for the unity and loyalty of its people, Muslim and Christian, and briefly became once more an important centre in the history of Greek Orthodoxy.
What, many asked in horror, could be going on? Were the Islamists finally taking over? But there was more than simply religion at stake. Since Atatürk, most presidents had come from elite metropolitan families, but Gül was both provincial and from the esnaf, the artisanal class that had, since educational reforms of the 1960s, began sending some of its sons and daughters to university. Journalists were quick to follow the scent of this intruder from outside the traditional political classes. They researched, debated and disputed Gül’s ancestry in ways that recall scrutiny of Barack Obama’s credentials as a US citizen.
Staunch supporters of the new party and government, Abdullah Gül’s family debated whether he should be named ‘Cumhur’ in recognition of his propitious birthday: the term refers to the ‘people’ element of Cumhuriyet, the Turkish for ‘republic’ – not the state but the people. He was named Abdullah instead, but the nickname survives in family legend. Abdullah Gül was born in Kayseri, the central Anatolian city where both sides of his family had lived for generations. His father, Ahmet Hamdi Bey – the term ‘bey’ here is a slightly old-fashioned term of respect pitched somewhere below ‘sir’ but above ‘mister’ – was employed in a local factory.