With less than two weeks to go for Turkey’s first direct presidential elections Aug. 10, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan remains the most likely winner, with polls predicting he will receive least 50% of the vote. Who will succeed him as leader of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), and consequently as prime minister, however, remains uncertain. This is a matter of vital importance to Erdogan, as it has serious implications for his presidency.
Polls conducted among AKP members show that incumbent President Abdullah Gul remains the most favored name to head the party and become prime minister. There are indications, however, that Erdogan does not want Gul in this position.