Drawing on original research, including personal interviews with President Abdullah Gül as well as his wife and close circle of colleagues and friends, this fascinating account offers readers a portrait of a man who has been at the heart of the political, economic and cultural developments that have brought Turkey to international prominence in recent years.
In 2002 Abdullah Gül’s democratically-elected party gained power and challenged Turkey’s republican and secular legacy, and shortly after Gül led Turkey’s attempts to receive an accession date for the European Union. In 2007 he became the first president of Turkey with a background in Islamic politics – causing political commentators to hail his victory as a “new era in Turkish politics” – and he has, ever since, been a major figure in Turkey’s diplomatic relationships in the Middle East and international political arena.
Gerald MacLean’s absorbing biography of this significant politician throws light on important episodes of Turkey’s recent history.
‘A well-documented lucid account of the life and political activities of Abdullah Gül ... MacLean’s work will remain as a major reference for scholars of modern Turkey for decades.’
– Professor Halil Inalcik, Bilkent University, Ankara
‘Abdullah Gül has been a voice of reason and common sense in today’s Turkey, a prime example of the sort of Muslim politician who could promise a variant of Christian Democracy in a country which has long needed a sensible conservative movement. Gerald MacLean’s study of his career is well-written, well-balanced and timely.’
– Professor Norman Stone, Bilkent University, Ankara
‘Abdullah Gül and the Making of the New Turkey is more than a personal biography, and will act as a broad introduction to Turkey’s modern political development. It provides a great deal of new information which should make it a useful source for students of contemporary Turkish society and politics.’
– William M. Hale, Professor Emeritus at The School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London
‘A fascinating account of Islam’s passage into modernity… Breaking with all clichés about Islam, Abdullah Gül and the Making of New Turkey is indispensable reading for those who want to understand recent Turkish history as well as the ongoing mutation of this world religion.’
– Mahmut Mutman, the author of The Politics of Writing Islam, Istanbul Sehir University