Turkey's Erdogan picks candidate for Parliament speaker

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday picked a former minister without an Islamist past to lead the new Parliament.

00:00 - 8/08/2007 Çarşamba
Güncelleme: 18:36 - 8/08/2007 Çarşamba
Yeni Şafak
Turkey's Erdogan picks candidate for Parliament sp
Turkey's Erdogan picks candidate for Parliament sp

Erdogan announced the name of Koksal Toptan, who served as education and culture ministers in previous governments, as his party's candidate after consultations with party members and opposition parties. Toptan will likely be elected Parliament Speaker on Thursday.

Erdogan's Justice and Development Party, which has roots in Turkey's Islamic movement, won a majority in the July 22 elections.

Toptan, who joined Erdogan's party after defecting from a secular, conservative party, was a front-runner for the job.

Erdogan's consultations with opposition leaders on Wednesday indicated that the prime minister was searching for a candidate acceptable to different parties and raised the possibility that he may do the same when nominating his party's candidate for president.

It was Erdogan's decision to nominate his close ally, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, for president that sparked a backlash from the opposition, which in turn forced Gul to abandon his bid and triggered the early elections. The secular opposition charged that Gul, who has an Islamist past, would help erode the predominantly Muslim nation's secular traditions.

In his victory speech on July 22, Erdogan promised an all-embracing government in a sign that he would take into account secular sensitivities.

His party, however, is divided. Some legislators have said its resounding electoral victory allows it to nominate Gul again while others have said the party should opt for a candidate who would also be acceptable to the secular opposition.

Newspapers have reported that Gul is intent on standing for president again.

Erdogan, was given the task of forming a new government on Aug. 6 and has some 45 days in which to pick the members of his new Cabinet.

17 yıl önce