09.02.2000 - 00:00 |
Gul: I would live in the US not Iran
Gul: I would live in the US not Iran
As a coincidence, Virtue Party (FP) Kayseri Deputy Abdullah Gul was in Istanbul for private reasons like the general Chairman of FP Recai Kutan. Gul, whose chances of being a candidate of the reformist wing for the general chairmanship at the congress the party will hold in May, is very careful about the issue. He is careful not to utter words that may offend Kutan or any other possible rivals or words that may scare the party's provincial delegates. He uses the concepts, "self-criticism, change and realism" quite often. He emphasized that he would not compensate from his principles and added that democracy was the best political system. Stating that he would live in the US and not Iran if he had a choice, Gul responded to Milliyet's questions:
- There is a rumor that 30 FP deputies, lead by you, have prepared a note against Recai Kutan. Is it true?
Gul: I've read that in the newspaper myself and was surprised. It definitely is not true. However there is one thing that I must say, last week in the executive board meetings and within the party group we have discussed the situation our party is in. We have made some self-criticism, which I feel is something all political parties should do.
- Everybody expects you to be a candidate in the congress. Will you?
Gul: We have a congress in May. All my friends in the party are thinking of ways to improve FP. We all discuss how to handle the party's problems. There may be many candidates in the congress for the general chairmanship. Even Mr.Kutan mentions himself, Bulent Arinc and me as possible candidates. However my decision is not yet clear. I will talk the issue over and announce my decision in the following days.
- What is this "reformist wing" It is said that you, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Bulent Arinc are leaders to this wing.
Gul: It is normal that there are people of different mentalities within a party this big, however our differences are not very big. We agree on fundamental principles. The people who follow up on issues, who are more inclined to do real politics are called reformists.
- What is your concrete suggestion?
Gul: First of all, we should earn the trust of the people. And for this, we have to be very realistic and be able to conceive change. We should preserve our identity when doing this. The importatnt thing is trust and being open.
- Mr.Erdogan and Bulent Arinc have made self-criticisms about the state of sheria. What is FP's thoughts on sheria?
Gul: Talking about religion and politics relations is for people of science to do, not for politicians. As a politician I look at the issue from the view of protecting religious freedom. I do not believe the religious people who are in active politics in Turkey are in demand of a religious state. I ams sure that there have been movements of such. but they are seldom. I believe that the best political system is democracy. If I am given the chance I would go live in the US, Britain or in Europe, not Lebanon or Iran.
Hizboullah killed our voters
Gul: Even though Hizboullah seems like an organization of rekigious circles, there is a side of them that is not displayed. We should look at whom Hizboullah havs killed. All are religious people who are appreciated by the society and who reject violance and terror. There are many FP supporters who had been killed. Actually if you look at those people killed by Hizboullah, many are people who vote for our party.
- It seemed like you were protecting Hizboullah?
Gul: This is psychological. We do not have anything to be touchy about. I would not have been offended. even if a few of our party members were found out to be related with Hizboullah. There have been many civil servants who were found out to be related with the organization, but this does not give us the right to say that the state organized the whole organization.