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Will Gul face Erdogan in 2019 presidential elections?

In a recent tweet, former Turkish President Abdullah Gul, using guarded language, criticized the Justice and Development Party, setting off a debate about the 2019 presidential elections and a possible face-off with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and former Turkish president Abdullah Gul (C) react after attending the funeral of a victim of the coup attempt in Istanbul on July 17, 2016. 
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed today to purge the "virus" within state bodies, during a speech at the funeral of victims killed during the coup bid he blames on his enemy Fethullah Gulen. / AFP / BULENT KILIC        (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)

As Iran’s protesters stir global debate about whether the country’s repressive theocracy is finally coming unstuck, in neighboring Turkey, the question looming ever larger is whether Turkey's shaky democracy is about to die.

The blanket repression and hollowing out of the country’s notionally democratic institutions spearheaded by the country’s strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan since the July 2016 coup attempt amply justify such angst. But the shroud of gloom enveloping the country was pierced, however fleetingly, when former President Abdullah Gul finally spoke up.

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