Newly elected President Abdullah Gul may assume a more aggressive role as symbolic leader of Turkey, particularly in Middle Eastern affairs. Sinan Ulgen, writing in The Turkish Daily News, argues Gul may take a more significant role in assisting Iraq to become peaceful. It is to the self interests of Turkey for Iraq to be calm, particularly Kurdish areas which presently provide covert support to Kurdish rebels in Turkey. Gul is also known as a champion of Turkish membership in the European Union and will continue moving his nation in that direction.
Gul is a conservative Muslim leader who seeks peace and stability in the Middle East. He is a perfect candidate to mediate the Israel-Palestinian conflict. If Bush had any intelligence, he would reach out to Gul and involve him in peace negotiations in all areas of the Middle East.