“Abdullah Gül And The Making Of The New Turkey”

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Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear friends,

I am very pleased to be in London in my first visit abroad after the end of my term as President. Actually London has a special place in my personal history. I lived here during my university years. Since then, I came here for many different occasions as member of Parliament, Foreign Minister. And lastly on a state visit as President as a guest of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.

In almost each and every visit, wonderful bookshops have been among my destinations in London. I've checked new releases and bought at least a couple books each time. Biography books have been the ones I spent most time with. And now I am very pleased to see on the same shelves, a book recently released on my country and myself !

Indeed, Gerald’s book is, I think, is not only a biography. It is a comprehensive analysis of the near history of Turkey, focusing on a period significant for both Europe and the Middle East: A period of reforms and transformation achieved by AK Party Governments, where I was one of the actors It is about the background of these achievements which received an overwhelming support of the Turkish people. Achievements, which were followed with great interest and appreciation in the West and East as well.

This is summarized very well in the title of the book: Abdullah Gül and the Making of the New Turkey.

I must tell you that this is not an authorized biography, which makes it more valuable. Neverthless, my friends, my wife and I have gladly provided Gerald with some stories, facts and opinions. I have especially mentioned Mrs. Gül at this point, as her memories, testimony and stories are at least as important as mine for the writing of this book.

Therefore, this is not like Jack, who has written an excellent book himself: Last Man Standing !This is Gerald's book, he is the chief architect and he deserves all the credit. I am here only as a modest reader of Gerald.

This book deserves credit not just with its story line, but also with its references, which bring together many living human sources, and an excellent bibliography. Its bibliography will be a great source for researchers working on the recent history of Turkey.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As I conclude my words, I sincerely thank Gerald MacLean, who believed in this book from the very beginning and who always kept his enthusiasm. His very dear wife Dona accompanied him on this journey. They both came to Turkey many times, toured around, researched and have exhausted their energies. My thanks also are to Oneworld, who published the book excellently and distributed it worldwide. Excellency Ambassador Bilgiç and Mrs. Bilgiç, I am greateful to you for hosting this nice evening.

Lastly, I thank very much indeed to all people, both my family and friends, as well as all who know me, who gave life to this book with their memories, views and life stories.

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