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Winning over Turkey’s Kurds

By Tom Nuttall  

The election of Abdullah Gül as Turkey’s president is the latest chapter in the increasingly tense cold war between the country’s ruling AK party—often eccentrically described in the western press as “mildly Islamist”—and the army, guardians of Turkey’s secular, “Kemalist” constitution. The story is well rehearsed, but to recap briefly—earlier this year, the AK party put forward Gül, then foreign minister, as its candidate for president. The army, concerned by Gül’s Islamist past and particularly by the fact that his wife wears the hijab, let its displeasure be known and even hinted that it might intervene militarily, as it has…

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