From the Campus of Exeter University to the AKP group meeting

‘One can do business with him’

Only until a few days ago, the topic of discussion was the reaction of Prime Minister of Tayyip Erdogan to the candidacy of 11th presidency. Hundreds of different comments and analysis in the local press was stimulating the wait of the foreign press.

In one of those days, I had a conversation with famous British journalist-writer Andrew Mango. He started off with Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdullah Gul and reminded Margaret Thatcher’s phrase about Gorbachev: ‘One can do business with him’. Andrew Mango said that the same was true for Abdullah Gul: ‘Abdullah Gul is considered as a figure of negotiation especially among the British politicians. He especially played a very willing and active role in the EU negotiations. He is a politician that people like. He is reasonable. He has a negotiating identity. This could be productive for both local and foreign affairs. Since he studied in England, he has an academic background that is close to circles here. In short, I believe that the ideal candidate for presidency is Abdullah Gul’.

When Reuters was announcing the candidacy of presidency, Abdullah Gul was stated to be ‘more cosmopolite than Erdogan’. Prime Minister of Foreign Affairs Gul’s London visit were productive. He didn’t neglect the Turkish families that were injured during the attacks that mark their existence under the name of ‘Bloody July’ in the British history. While he was there to receive the honorary PhD that was going to be given to him by the Exeter University, he stopped by the London Hospital to visit Okan Burak, one of the victims of the bomb attacks, to give him moral support. Abdullah Gul also met the family of Turkish Gamze, who was lost during the bomb attacks and showed his human side as well.

Abdullah Gul’s solution seeking and creating attitude in the international affairs, his contributions to human rights and democracy in the local politics has brought him a significant award from the Exeter University, where he once studied. When he received his award from Professor Tim Niblock, the room was filled with enthusiasm. Approximately 300 people that filled the room created an incredible flood of applause. Abdullah Gul’s happiness could be seen on his face..And his eyes got watery…

His wife and daughter were watching him from the front row. With excitement and pride…

The scene made us really proud. Minister Gul was smiling sincerely as always.

When Abdullah Gul’s name was announced during the group meeting of AKP on Tuesday, the same flood of applause happened again. As it was mentioned in Financial Times one day before, an applause that is filled with joy…

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