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Erdogan Warns Turkey's Army To Stay Out Of Politics

Erdogan (right) nominated Gul (left) for the presidency in April, an attampt that failed following mass demonstrations by secularists (AFP) August 21, 2007 -- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on the army to stay out of politics following months of tensions between the Islamist-rooted government and the secular military.

Erdogan's comments came after Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul on August 20 won the most votes in the first round of a presidential election.

He fell just short of securing the two-thirds majority in parliament needed to immediately become Turkey's next president.

The army, which has ousted four governments in the past 50 years, has voiced its opposition to Gul becoming head of state.

Erdogan previously nominated Gul for the presidency in April, prompting mass street demonstrations by secularists who opposed seeing a former Islamist politician as president.