His Excellency Abdullah Gül (Turkey)

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Former President and Prime Minister of Turkey

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As President, Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Abdullah Gül has seen Turkey develop as an economic and political power. With its commercially, politically and militarily sensitive positioning as the gateway between Europe and Asia and the Middle East, he analyses Turkey’s future and the wider geopolitical outlook.


Abdullah Gül served as President of Turkey and prior to that as Prime Minister, followed by terms as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. He remains a leading political figure and statesman in the country.

After studying in Turkey and the UK Mr Gül worked in academia. He was an economist at the head offices of the Islamic Development Bank before being elected to Turkey’s Parliament. In a parliamentary career lasting almost 20 years he served on budget and foreign affairs committees and as a Turkish member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

In the tumultuous world of Turkish party politics Mr Gül moved to the Virtue Party and in the face of a split led the reformist wing of the group, standing for election as chairman. He was then among the founders of the new Justice and Development Party, a more religiously moderate party which went on to win its first general election, installing Mr Gül as Prime Minister. He then served as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister before being elected President.

During his time in Turkish politics Mr Gül has seen his country deal with extremism, political and diplomatic crises, ongoing and sometimes strained relations with the EU, social and religious issues, and its rise as an economic power. He considers Turkey’s commercially, politically and militarily sensitive positioning as the gateway between Europe and Asia and the Middle East and well as wider geopolitical issues.

Mr Gül now serves on the Advisory Panel for the President of the Islamic Development Bank. He was named Statesman of the Year in 2010 by the foreign affairs think tank Chatham House and has been given over a dozen state honours by counties across Europe and Asia. He served as a member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, and was awarded with the Pro merito medal and the title of Permanent Honorary Member for his ten years of work in PACE.

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