President Gül was born in Kayseri, a city in central Anatolia. His father is Ahmed Hamdi Gül, a retired air force mechanic, and his mother is Adviye Gül (née Satoğlu). His family has lived in the Güllük district of Kayseri for about a century. His ancestry/ethnicity according to a Çankaya Presidential Residence statement is "Turkish Muslim." Gül was also called with the name Cumhur (which means 'people') by his family.
Gül studied Economics at the Istanbul University. During his graduate education, he studied for two years in London and Exeter in the United Kingdom. He pursued an academic career after that and worked at the higher education facilities in Adapazarı, collaborating in the establishment of the Department for Industrial Engineering and teaching Management courses at the ITU Sakarya Engineering Faculty, which later became the Sakarya University in 1992. He received a Ph.D. degree from the Istanbul University in 1983. He is also conferred to an Honorary Ph.D degree from AMITY University, NOIDA -India on February 8, 2009, and Doctor of Law degree from University of Dhaka on February 13, 2010. Between 1983 and 1991, he worked at the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. In 1991, Gül became a lecturer in International Management.
Prime Minister Erdoğan announced on 24 April 2007 that Gül would be the Justice and Development Party candidate in the 2007 presidential election. Previously, there had been speculation that Erdoğan himself would be the party's candidate, which had provoked substantial opposition from secularists. When a boycott of opposition parties in Parliament deadlocked the election process, Gül formally withdrew his candidacy on 6 May 2007. If elected he would be the first president to have been involved with Islamist parties.
But a few days later, on 11 May 2007 when he inquired after the alterations to the Turkish constitution which now allowed the people to elect the president directly rather than a parliamentary vote, Gül announced that he was still intending to run.
Following the July 2007 parliamentary election, the AK Party renominated Gül as its presidential candidate on August 13; the election was again held as a vote of parliament. On August 14, Gül submitted his candidacy application to parliament and expressed his commitment to secularism at a news conference.
On 28 August 2007, he was elected president in the third round of voting; in the first two rounds, a two-thirds majority of MPs had been required, but in the third round he needed only a simple majority. Gül was sworn in immediately thereafter. The process was a very low-key affair. Gül's swearing-in was not attended by the Chief of the Turkish General Staff and was boycotted by the opposition Republican People's Party; then the hand-over of power at the presidential palace was held behind closed doors. Gül's wife Hayrünnisa, whose wearing of a headscarf is a factor in the opposition to Gül's presidency, was not present. This approach continued; the traditional evening reception hosted by the new president at the presidential palace for the country's highest authorities was announced for 11:30 in the morning and wives were not invited. His presidency has been described as a "new era in Turkish politics", for being the first devout Muslim president of Turkey.
Gül received messages of congratulation from the US, EU and German authorities while Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdoğan made a statement saying "a structure doomed to uncertainty has been overcome" (an oblique reference to the deep state theory that Turkey is ruled behind-closed-doors by a secret conspiracy of soldiers and bureaucrats)
In September 2008 he became the first Turkish leader to visit neighbouring Armenia, sparking a major debate in Turkey.
On August 20, 1980, Abdullah Gül married Hayrünnisa Özyurt (b. 1965), who also originates from Kayseri. He was therefore thirty years old, to his wife's fifteen, at the time of their marriage. The couple has three children: two sons named Mehmet Emre and Ahmet Münir, and a daughter named Kübra.
He is a fan of the football club Beşiktaş J.K. of Istanbul.
1950–1983 Abdullah Gül
1983–1991 Dr. Abdullah Gül
1991–1996 Associate Professor Doctor Abdullah Gül, MP
1996–2002 Associate Professor Doctor Abdullah Gül, Minister of State of the Republic of Turkey
2002–2003 His Excellency Associate Professor Doctor Abdullah Gül, 58th Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey
2003–2007 His Excellency Associate Professor Doctor Abdullah Gül, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey
2007-Current His Excellency Associate Professor Doctor Abdullah Gül, 11th President of the Republic of Turkey.
Albeit, His Excellency is entitled to the use of several foreign honorifics and post-nominals such as for example "GCB", (because he has been made an Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Civil Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath by Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom) Çankaya Presidential Palace protocol dictates that foreign honours and titles be omitted when addressing His Excellency.