The Turkish parliament's constitutional committee says early general elections should be held July 22 in an effort to resolve the standoff with secularists over the selection of a new president.

The date proposed by the committee is almost one month later than requested by the AK Party of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

He appealed for an early election after Turkey's Constitutional Court annulled the first round of presidential voting in parliament for the Islamist-rooted AK Party's candidate, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul.

Mr. Erdogan called the court's decision a "bullet aimed at democracy" that made it impossible for parliament to elect a president.

The European Commission Wednesday urged all parties to respect the court's ruling and for Turkey's military to stay out of the political crisis.

Turkey's main opposition secularist party boycotted the parliamentary vote in an effort to prevent Gul from becoming president.

The Turkish military also has warned it would defend the country's strict secular political system.

The prime minister says he will seek a constitutional amendment allowing Turkish voters to elect the country's president instead of lawmakers.

Secularists say they fear the AK Party has a hidden Islamist agenda and that Gul's election will threaten the country's secular system of government. Both Mr. Erdogan and his foreign minister deny the charge.

Turkey's general elections had previously been set for November 4.