Gül, Abdullah (äbˈdōlä gōl) [key], 1950–, Turkish politician, grad. Istanbul Univ. (B.A., 1971; Ph.D., 1983). An economist, he was first elected to parliament in 1991, originally as a member of the Islamist Welfare party and later (1999) as a member of its successor, the Virtue party. In 2001 he was a founding member of the Justice and Development (AK) party. In 2002, when Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was banned from running for office, Gül was elected prime minister after the AK won a landslide victory. The following year Erdoğan became prime minister and Gül was appointed deputy prime minister and foreign minister. In Apr., 2007 Gül, a moderate Islamist, was the sole candidate for Turkey's presidency, but a boycott by secular opposition parties narrowly denied Gül's supporters the parliamentary quorum required for voting and he withdrew his candidacy. However, after parliamentary elections in July, which again gave the AK a sizable majority, Gül was elected to the presidency. He adopted a more conciliatory public approach than Erdoğan to those who demonstrated against the government in 2013.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Turkish and Ottoman History: Biographies