> The decision followed objections by the military to the nomination of Gul, who has an Islamist past, for election as head of state by parliament.

that sounds eerily like McCarthyism

Hard to say. Islamist in this context means more then Muslim, it means a desire for an explicitly Muslim government and society. But I don't know if Abdullah G\ufffdl really falls into that category.

The party he is a member of is called "Justice and Development Party" which works out to AKP in Turkish. This party is a moderate Islamist party, which means that their public position is a desire for a Muslim society but not to replace the constitution or enforce Muslim law. However, their position seems to be carefully gaged to be as Islamist as they can be without being banned.

The current head of the AKP and current Prime Minister is Recep Erdoğan. There was talk of him running, but it appears that he realized there wasn't a chance of him being allowed to run for President. He is clearly more Islamist then Gul.

The whole things seems a bit odd to me, since my reading of the Turkish government is that the President is fairly symbolic. Like many parliamentary governments, the Prime Minister has more power. The judiciary and military may actually be more worried about the President and Prime Minister coming from one party then anything else.

Politics in Turkey on the whole is strange anyway, because it is really a fight between two right wing groups. The secular, nationalist types, who border on facist at their most extreme. And the Islamist types, the radical ones of which seek to replace the constitution and enforce Sharia law.