Ex-Turkish President Gul won’t run against Erdogan in early elections

Former Turkish President Abdullah Gul says he will not run in the early elections, dispelling rumors of his candidacy, AP reports. Gul said in Istanbul on Saturday he would have considered running as a presidential candidate had there been “widespread agreement and desire” for him to do so. The ex-president left politics in 2014, but his name is often floated as a possible competitor to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The head of state announced presidential and parliamentary elections would be moved forward by more than a year to June 24, catching opposition parties by surprise. Gul is a founding member of Erdogan’s ruling party, and briefly served as Turkey’s prime minister following elections that brought the party to power in 2002. He also served as Erdogan’s foreign minister and the country’s eleventh president.