Turkish secularists are bracing for another clash over the presidential candidacy of Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, a devout Muslim and one-time Islamist party member who critics fear plans to enforce extreme religious principals in public life. The last time he was nominated as the ruling party's candidate, just three months ago, the army threatened a coup, and thousands took to the streets.
He is almost certain to win. Though his wife wears a Muslim head scarf that has outraged many, Gul claims to be a champion of secularism. Critics say he has a secret plan with the prime minister, also a one-time Islamist, to establish a religious state in a nation that has traditionally been among the most liberal of Muslim countries.