Turkish Army Blasts Incoming President

Fears of a coup return as former Islamist ascends to top job
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2007 8:50 AM CDT
Turkey's Chief of Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit is seen during a ceremony at the presidential palace in this Aug. 16, 2007 file photo. Turkey's military denied Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2007 that generals, whom...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Turkey is heading for a showdown over the relation of the state and Islam as Abdullah Gul, who has been the subject of bitter protests, was named president of Turkey in a parliamentary election today. The nomination of Gul, the foreign minister and a practicing Muslim whose wife wears a head scarf, led to massive secularist protests across Turkey last spring.

This morning the army's lead spokesman decried the "centers of evil who systematically try to corrode the secular nature of the Turkish Republic." Following July's election, which returned the Islamic ruling party to power, Gul's accession to the presidency became unavoidable. Nobody is yet talking about a coup—but Turkey has seen four governments deposed by the military since the 1960s.