Rice: U.S. not involved in Turkey's internal politics
U.S. State Secretary Rice said, United States would continue to support democracy in Turkey.
U.S. State Secretary Condoleezza Rice said the United States would not get involved in the internal political developments in Turkey, yet noted that they would continue to support democratic institutions of Turkey, reform, democracy and secular democracy in Turkey.
Addressing a think-tank organization in New York named Council on Foreign Relations, Rice said she has excellent relations with Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Foreign Minister & Chief Negotiator for the EU talks Ali Babacan.
Rice said she believed that the agenda for democratization that the AK Party has undertaken has been good for Turkey, noting that AK Party has reached out to Kurdish origin citizens and got a large amount of their votes in the last election.
"They have reached out to the poor and rural in Turkey in ways that were not done before. They have reached out religious people. And I think the secular democracy in Turkey is important, but it is also important that religious people are a part of the country. And so, we have very good relations with them," she said.
"Now, what can we do? I think we have to continue to support the democratic institutions of Turkey. Obviously, we are not going to get involved in the current discussions in Turkey about the court case, that is a matter for Turkey to resolve. But I do think that we need to continue to speak up for reform in Turkey, for democracy in Turkey, for secular democracy in Turkey. The people who could do the most are the Europeans. Because, frankly, if Turkey is not given a fair chance to accede to the European Union, we will all pay. We can not have a dividing line at Turkey," Rice said.
"Sometimes, when I am asked what might democracy look like in the Middle East, I think it might look like Turkey. And so, the Europeans--and I understand that it is hard, but the EU--the prospect of EU accession has been extremely important to reform in Turkey. And without that prospect, it is going to be hard to continue," Rice said.
Rice also eulogized endeavors of Turkish government in the Middle East and Iraq, and noted that besides being a NATO ally, Turkey also turned into a real global partner.
AA Last Mod: 21 Haziran 2008, 19:10