Muslim Prime Minister Erdogan bowed to pressure from hard liners in his political party, the AKP, and agreed to place forward the nomination of Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul for the presidency of Turkey. There is some belief Erdogan wanted to avoid this showdown with the Turkish military, but grass roots fundamentalist forces within his own party insisted on proceeding toward a confrontation.
The Turkish constitution emphasizes that Turkey is a secular nation and the Turkish military has traditionally regarded itself as the main bastion to ensure continuation of such policies. The office of President is mainly ceremonial, but that position allows the president to appoint the head of Turkey’s armed forces. The Turkish military will undoubtedly oppose Gul as president which will lead to some form of constitutional stalemate. In the worse case scenario, the Turkish army might step in and assume control of Turkey’s government.