ANKARA, Turkey -- Parliament will begin voting to determine the country's next president on May 1st, according to a schedule presented on Saturday (March 3rd) by Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc. A maximum of four rounds of elections will take place, ending with an oath-taking ceremony on May 16th. The ruling Justice and Development Party is expected to tap Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as its candidate.
In other news Saturday, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul denied recent press rumours that Turkey would allow US forces to use its territory for attacks on Iran and northern Iraq. On the sidelines of the Arab League summit in Cairo, Gul said Turkey "will not permit an attack on any neighbouring country to be launched from its soil". (Zaman, Hurriyet - 05/03/07; AFP, DPA, SANA - 04/03/07; Turkish Daily News, KUNA - 03/03/07)