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Turkey Islamist presidential candidate refuses to drop out despite army threat, protest

[JURIST] As some 700,000 secularist Turks took to the streets of Istanbul [AP report] Sunday demanding the resignation of Turkey's government, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul [official website; Wikipedia profile; JURIST news archive], a member of the ruling Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) [party website, in Turkish; Wikipedia backgrounder] and the country's sole presidential candidate, said he would not withdraw from the country's presidential election in the face of a statement released by the secularist Turkish army on Friday threatening to intervene if Gul is elected [Times report]. Gul fell 10 votes short of a requisite majority in the first round of balloting in parliament on Friday.

The opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) [Wikipedia backgrounder] boycotted Friday's vote, as they feel Turkey's president should be entirely secular, and immediately challenged [AFP report] the results in Turkey's Constitutional Court [official website], arguing that the constitutional provision required a quorum for Friday's vote to be official and lead to a second round. General elections will be held on November 4 to elect a president if the constitutional court annuls the results of Friday's vote and voting is not allowed to move to the second round in parliament. AFP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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