Gül's press advisor Ahmet Sever last week expressed resentment on behalf of Gül over the statements of some Justice and Development Party (AK Party) members wanting to exclude the president from future political service following the end of his tenure in 2014.
Responding to questions on a live TV program, Erdoğan said that Sever, as a civil servant, had no right to make such comments.
“We are upset that this subject came to the agenda in this way, because no one has the right or prerogative to damage the close ties between me and Mr. President. No one should dare to,” said the prime minister.
In June, Turkey's Constitutional Court rejected an appeal filed by the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) requesting the annulment of a law limiting the presidential term to seven years for incumbent Gül, and deemed the president eligible to run for another term. Some AK Party members said Gül is unlikely to announce that he will run in the 2014 presidential elections.
Erdoğan said statements from Cabinet members and the government on the Constitutional Court's ruling were “analysis of law and comments,” implying that they were not aimed to hurt Gül.
Supporting comments of President Gül, who on Saturday said bonds between he and Erdoğan are ‘‘beyond brotherhood,” Erdoğan remarked that he and the president are able to take care of issues together, and that those who expect conflict between the two leaders will be disappointed.
“We had already experienced similar processes and legal situations. No one should expect us to prove [our relationship] again,” he said.
When asked about the prospect of his running in the presidential elections in 2014, Erdoğan refused to comment on the issue, wishing not to complicate things further. He stated, “There are still two more years ahead.”
The issues surrounding the presidency have been on the agenda, particularly on that of the governing AK Party, since 2007. Despite expectations that Erdoğan would seek the presidency at the time, he instead nominated Gül -- then the foreign minister -- predominantly due to strong opposition by the secularist opposition to his candidacy. Gül's candidacy, too, has sparked tensions, reaching a peak when the military issued a memorandum warning of an intervention. The country was able to overcome the political crisis only after the government called early elections and Parliament elected Gül as president in August 2007. However, the issue has become controversial once more since the ruling of the Constitutional Court in June.