I wrote about the controversial Mr. Gül earlier this year during his first attempt to run for president. A former Islamist, many within Turkey's secular elite found him too religious to be ruler of a republic that prides itself on strongly separating church from state.
Just to recap, in April the parliament elected Mr. Gül president, but that vote was later deemed invalid due to lack of quorum. So things were delayed for a couple of months, and Mr. Gül said he wouldn't run again, to spare the nation any more turmoil.
But then in July the Turks had a parliamentary election, and the religious Justice and Development Party won a divisive majority. This emboldened them, as it meant they no longer had to worry about appeasing the other, smaller parties and their whiny calls to respect secularism. So they decided to renominate Mr. Gül and on August 28 they pushed through his election, which he won in a landslide vote of 339 to 83.
The Turkish president is sworn in on the same day of his election, so Mr. Gül formally became Turkey's 11th president later that evening.
In old Turkey the military probably would be staging a coup right about now, because Mr. Gül, despite being a born-again secularist and enemy of Islamism, is still considered to be too much of a socially conservative busy-body to be trusted with power. But new Turkey is trying to get into the EU, and in the battle between democracy and secularism democracy is a value much less easily compromised. Considering the parliament's- and by extension the voters- overwhelming endorsement of Gül, a coup at this point would do far more damage to Turkey's international image and prestige than any religious agenda the new president will be able to cook up.
The military knows this, but old habits die hard, and following Mr. Gül's election they still made some official noises of displeasure. The Chief of the Army staff declared that "centers of evil" were working to erode secularism, and all of the country's top generals boycotted their new Commander-in-Chief's inauguration ceremony.