Gül calls on gov’t to end state of emergency

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Turkey's former President Abdullah Gül. / AFP PHOTO / YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP PHOTO / YASSER AL-ZAYYAT

Former President Abdullah Gül on Saturday called on the government to end the state of emergency that was declared following a failed coup attempt on July 15, saying, “Turkey must return to normal as soon as possible.”

“The difference between criminals and the innocent is important. I have from time to time been expressing my concerns to our Mr. President [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan],” said Abdullah Gül, while criticizing the state of emergency and investigations into the abortive coup on CNNTürk on Saturday.

Underlining the negative consequences of reinstating capital punishment in Turkey, Gül said he does not believe that the death penalty will return.

‘Turkey must soon return to the old days’

Recalling Turkey’s recent isolation in foreign policy, Gül criticized the government over its policy with the European Union: “Our government started the negotiation process and strengthened Turkey with the related reforms. Europe is already a developed democracy. We made use of this process. We need to look for ways to make more use of it.”

Calling on the government to solve the problems with the EU behind closed doors, Gül said: “We have accomplished our biggest development during the EU process. Since we have integrated with the world, any step taken by us [to isolate ourselves] would affect us negatively. Turkey must return to the old days as soon as possible.”

Gül also rejected claims that he would establish a new political party with Ahmet Davutoğlu, Bülent Arınç, Hüseyin Çelik and Mehmet Şimşek.

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