PM Erdogan rejects allegations of disagreement with Abdullah Gul on presidential bid
ANKARA - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan denied that there had been any disagreement between him and President Abdullah Gul on who to nominate in the upcoming presidential vote in August.
Speaking to journalists in capital Ankara, Erdogan said that he and Gul had "devoted ourselves to the same ideal for years" and that a candidate will be determined by them working together.
Gul and Erdogan are co-founders of Turkey's ruling AK Party.
Turkish media reports have said Erdogan and Gul have been in talks for a possible job swap. The Turkish president have denied any such option saying, "Putin-Medvedev model" -- where the Russian president and the prime minister effectively swapped offices in 2012 -- is not a suitable one for Turkey.
Erdogan is in his third term as premier and according to his party's rules he cannot run for a fourth term.
Stating that consultations on a candidate for the president had been ongoing within the party, Erdogan said that they have carried out public surveys and they would come to a conclusion following the results of all consultations and surveys.
Erdogan has meet Gul thrice to discuss AK Party's presidential candidate since the local elections in March.
Upon a question concerning recent child killings in Turkey, Erdogan said that the government is working on amendments to increase the punishment for crimes including child abuse.
"Due to the EU membership process we cannot apply death sentence but we are working on heavy life sentence," added Erdogan.
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