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ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey s president appeared to rule himself out as a potential future prime minister on Friday, saying a Putin-Medvedev model under which he might swap roles with Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was not suitable for Turkey.
President Abdullah Gul s comments threw open the question of who might succeed Erdogan should he run for the presidency in an August election as expected. Gul had been seen as a potential future prime minister with Erdogan as head of state.
I don t have any political plan for the future under today s conditions, Gul told reporters in the western province of Kutahya, when asked about the presidential election.
Russia s current Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev replaced Vladimir Putin as president in 2008, while Putin became prime minister. They swapped roles in 2012.
Asked if a Putin-Medvedev model might be conceivable, Gul said such a formula would not be appropriate for a democracy.
Gul did not elaborate on what had led to his decision.
Erdogan told reporters after Friday prayers he had not heard Gul s words and would not comment before speaking with the president directly.
Gul co-founded the ruling Islamist-rooted AK Party with Erdogan and has remained a close ally. But he is viewed as a more conciliatory figure than the combative prime minister and their relations have at times appeared strained.
(The story corrects 4th paragraph to reflect that Russia s Medvedev was First Deputy Prime Minister, not Prime Minister, before he
became President in 2008.)
(Reporting by Orhan Coskun and Humeyra Pamuk; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Nick Tattersall and Ruth Pitchford)
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