World Bulletin / News Desk
Addressing Turkish Parliament during the commencement of the new legislative year on Tuesday, President Abdullah Gul welcomed the reform package unveiled by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government on Monday as he pushed for more extensive steps for a broader democracy.
“I welcome the new steps announced by the prime minister yesterday, which will, in my opinion, solve important issues in our country,” the president said in reference to the long-awaited democratization package.
Calling the “deep-rooted” reforms that Turkey undertook in recent years “a silent revolution,” President Gul said that they have been implemented with the goal of raising the democratic standards of the country. However, not satisfied with the degree of development in Turkish democracy, Gul pointed out that at every opportunity he “defended the realization of democratic reforms in a way that broadens participatory and pluralistic democracy and extends freedoms.”
CRISIS IN SYRIA
At the moment Syria is witnessing the biggest massacre of the 21st century. The Syrian people do not deserve to be sacrificed in this way. The longer this war goes on, the more radicalism and extremism will increase. This threatens the stability of the region. For this reason, I condomn all murders of innocent civilians.
Directing attention to the “ideological competition and proxy wars” in Syria in the face of globally growing extremism, Gul urged Turkey to make maintaining its position as a “soft and virtuous power” a fundamental priority to protect its achievements so far.
Stating that the lives of the Syrian people should not be sacrificed to the balance of power politics, Gül described the attitude of the international community as “disheartening” in the face of calamities, not only in Syria, but in the whole region.
According to Gul, Turkey would be pleased to see the destruction of the whole chemical arsenal in Syria in a verifiable manner and in the shortest time possible. For him, Turkey's “ultimate goal should be building a new Syria that is at peace with its own people and its neighbors while keeping its territorial integrity and political unity intact.”
On Iran, Gul referred to his recent talk with Iranian counterpart Hassan Rohani and said that they reached a mutual understanding to cooperate, particularly in the Syrian crisis.
In a similar manner, Gul called on Egypt to return to democracy, release its political prisoners and include all political movements in free and fair elections.
THE PALESTINIAN-ISRAELI CONFLICT
It is impossible to arrive at a peaceful solution while the Arab-Israeli problem, the basis of all the problems in the Middle-East, remains unsolved. We are seeking the permanent establishment of a Palestinian state formed by the 1967 borders which will include a free eastern Jerusalem in the upcoming talks.
However, while the peace talks take place, eastern Jerusalem as well as other parts of Palestine remain under Israeli occupation and illegal settlements are still being built. We find Israel's attitude dangerous and an obstacle to achieving peace.Last Mod: 01 Ekim 2013, 18:09