Abdullah Gul was chosen as president by parliament in August 2007, after months of controversy over his nomination. He is Turkey's first head of state with a background in political Islam in a country with strong secularist principles.
The months leading to his eventual election saw street demonstrations, an opposition boycott of parliament, early parliamentary elections and warnings from the army, which has ousted four governments since 1960.
Turkish secularists, including army generals, opposed Mr Gul's nomination, fearing he would try to undermine Turkey's strict separation of state and religion. Secularists also did not want Turkey's First Lady to wear the Muslim headscarf.
The army top brass and the main opposition Republican People's Party, stayed away from Mr Gul's swearing-in ceremony.
Mr Gul started in politics in an Islamist party that was banned by the courts, but later renounced the idea that Islam should be a driving force in politics. In 2001, along with other moderate members of the Islamist movement, he founded the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and distanced himself from his past political leanings.
The party won elections in 2002 and Mr Gul served as stand-in prime minister before stepping aside for Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Mr Gul served as foreign minister under Mr Erdogan and cultivated an image as a moderate politician, acting as an impassioned voice for reforms to promote Turkey's EU bid.
The government holds most power but the president can veto laws, appoint officials, and name judges. Voters in a referendum in October 2007 backed plans to have future presidents elected by the people instead of by parliament.
- Administrative divisions: This entry generally gives the numbers, designatory terms, and first-order administrative divisions as approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Changes that have been reported but not yet acted on by BGN are noted.
- Capital city > Geographic coordinates: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
- Capital city > Name: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
- Constitution: The dates of adoption, revisions, and major amendments to a nation's constitution
- Country name > Conventional long form: This entry is derived from Government > Country name, which includes all forms of the country's name approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (Italy is used as an example): conventional long form (Italian Republic), conventional short form (Italy), local long form (Repubblica Italiana), local short form (Italia), former (Kingdom of Italy), as well as the abbreviation. Also see the Terminology note.
- Diplomatic representation from the US > Mailing address: This entry includes the chief of mission, embassy address, mailing address, telephone number, FAX number, branch office locations, consulate general locations, and consulate locations.
- Executive branch > Cabinet: Cabinet includes the official name for any body of high-ranking advisers roughly comparable to a U.S. Cabinet. Also notes the method for selection of members.
- Executive branch > Head of government: Head of government includes the name and title of the top administrative leader who is designated to manage the day-to-day activities of the government. For example, in the UK, the monarch is the chief of state, and the prime minister is the head of government. In the US, the president is both the chief of state and the head of government.
- Government type: A description of the basic form of government (e.g., republic, constitutional monarchy, federal republic, parliamentary democracy, military dictatorship).
- Judicial branch: The name(s) of the highest court(s) and a brief description of the selection process for members.
- Legal system: A brief description of the legal system's historical roots, role in government, and acceptance of International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction.
- Legislative branch: This entry contains information on the structure (unicameral, bicameral, tricameral), formal name, number of seats, and term of office. Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election. Election results includes the percent of vote and/or number of seats held by each party in the last election.
- Political parties and leaders: Significant political organizations and their leaders.
- Political pressure groups and leaders: Organizations with leaders involved in politics, but not standing for legislative election.
- Suffrage: The age at enfranchisement and whether the right to vote is universal or restricted
"Turkey Government Stats", NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Turkey/Government
"Turkey Government Stats, NationMaster." 1923-2014. <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Turkey/Government>.
'Turkey Government Stats, NationMaster', <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Turkey/Government> [assessed 1923-2014]
"Turkey Government Stats", NationMaster [Internet]. 1923-2014. Avaliable from: <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Turkey/Government>.
"Turkey Government Stats", NationMaster. Avaliable at: nationmaster.com. Assessed 1923-2014.
"Turkey Government Stats, NationMaster," http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Turkey/Government (assessed 1923-2014)
"Turkey Government Stats", NationMaster, http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Turkey/Government (last visited 1923-2014)
"Turkey Government Stats", NationMaster, http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Turkey/Government (as of 1923-2014)