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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gul Takes Most Votes In Turkey

ANKARA, Turkey -- Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul won the most votes in the first round of a presidential election in Turkey on Monday, deputies said, but he did not secure the two-thirds majority needed in the parliament for an outright win.

Turkey's military and secular elite blocked his first bid to become head of state in April because of his Islamist past, triggering a parliamentary election in July that was intended to defuse the crisis over the presidency.

Gul's center-right AK Party has been strengthened by its convincing election win but is still short of the two-thirds majority in the parliament needed for him to be elected president in the first or second round of voting.

He is expected to defeat his two rivals only in a third round of voting Aug. 28, when he would need just a simple majority to win.

The presidency has traditionally been held by the secular elite, and a former Islamist has never been elected president. Victory for Gul, 56, would complete the AK Party's capture of all key posts in Turkey's political hierarchy.

Gul secured 341 votes in the 550-seat chamber and a quorum of at least 367 legislators, enough to validate the vote.

The first vote in April was derailed by a court ruling that two-thirds of the parliament had to be present to make the process valid -- impossible amid an opposition boycott. This time enough parties have pledged to participate.