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Turkish opposition dejected as ex-president shuns presidential race

Former Turkish President Abdullah Gul will not run in the swiftly approaching elections, and no other candidate stands much of a chance against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkey's incumbent President Abdullah Gul and his wife Hayrunnisa Gul talk to the media as they leave a polling station after casting their votes in Ankara August 10, 2014. Turks began voting on Sunday with Tayyip Erdogan poised to become the country's first elected president, fulfilling his dream of what he calls a "new Turkey" and his opponents say will be an increasingly authoritarian nation. REUTERS/Umit Bektas (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS) - GM1EA8A1K7X01

Hopes that Abdullah Gul, a former president and the sole political figure attributed a credible chance to defeat Turkish strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the snap polls on June 24, will enter the elections have all but died as opposition groups scramble for alternatives.

Gul, a reformist who appeals to conservatives, liberals and Kurds alike, was also expected to steal plenty of Erdogan voters disaffected with his iron grip, a weakening economy and growing reluctance to share the spoils of power.

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