Ruling AKP blasts former President Gül over criticism on Istanbul revote

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Wednesday hit back at AKP veteran and former President Abdullah Gül who criticised a decision by the country’s top electoral body to annul the opposition’s victory in the Istanbul mayoral race and order a revote, pro-government Islamist Yeni Akit newspaper reported.

AKP’s representative at the Supreme Election Council (YSK) Recep Özel accused Gül of turning his back on fellow AKP founder President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

 “Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is going to call you “brother’’’ and then you are going to side with those who are trying to do away with him, Özel said. “How do you plan on explaining that to the people?’’

“There is no room for jackals in this story,’’ Özel added.

Gül, who preceded Erdoğan as president, denounced the YSK’s decision via Twitter on Tuesday.

“What I felt in 2007 when the Constitutional Court made its unfair 367 ruling, is what I felt yesterday when another high court, the Supreme Election Council, made its decision”, the former Turkish president said.

The Constitutional Court in 2007 ruled that at least 367 deputies must take part in a parliamentary vote for presidential candidates, which was seen as an attempt at blocking the Islamist AKP’s Gül from running for presidency.

Gül, along with other former Erdoğan allies such as former Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, are expected to launch a rival political movement amid rising discontent within the AKP, which has ruled Turkey for 17 years.