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Turkish PM Tells Army to Keep Out of Politics


Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned the military to "stay in its place" and keep out of politics as parliament works on electing a new president.

Mr. Erdogan told Turkish television Tuesday that all of the country's institutions must act according to their constitutional mandates.

He said if Turks believe in democracy, the army should not mix in politics.

The Turkish military has promised to defend the country's secularism.

Meanwhile, parliament votes again next week for president. The ruling Justice and Development Party candidate, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, lost the first round Monday when he failed to win the required two-thirds support.

But he is expected to be elected next week when only a simple majority is needed.

Gul, who has been a devout Muslim, says he will preserve the separation between church and state if he is elected.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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