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Will there be a showdown between Gul and Erdogan?

At their farewell reception, the wife of outgoing President Abdullah Gul denounced Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s close associates, signaling a possible Gul versus Erdogan clash.
President Abdullah Gul of Turkey arrives at The World Forum in The Hague on March 24, 2014 on the first day of the two-day Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) . AFP PHOTO/POOL/MARCO DE SWART        (Photo credit should read MARCO DE SWART/AFP/Getty Images)

On the night of Aug. 19, President Abdullah Gul was host of a farewell reception at the Cankaya presidential mansion, where his wife, Hayrunisa, made several comments. The Turkish first lady spoke scathingly in front of several Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy chairmen. In stinging language, she said: “We are passing through a litmus test period. What we have lived through in this process, we didn’t even experience in the Feb. 28 era [the 1997 military coup], when my headscarf was debated. I have never been so sad in my life. We saw what they wrote, heard what they said. My husband was turning off the Internet so I wouldn’t be upset. Now, I am keeping quiet, but not for long. I will launch the real intifada [uprising].”

That wasn’t the full extent of Hayrunisa's fury. She reacted harshly to some journalists at the reception. To Abdulkadir Selvi, the Ankara bureau chief of the daily Yeni Safak, which is close to President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan, she said, “I am very angry with you and don’t want to shake your hand.” Selvi’s hand was left hanging in front of all the guests and the media.

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