MIDEAST > Jordan denies King Abdullah’s remarks about Turkish PM

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

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Jordan's King Abdullah (L) shakes hands with Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan during their meeting in Ankara March 6, 2013. REUTERS Photo

Jordan's King Abdullah (L) shakes hands with Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan during their meeting in Ankara March 6, 2013. REUTERS Photo

Sevil Erkuş Sevil Erkuş sevil.kucukkosum@hdn.com.tr

Turkish diplomats in Amman have sought explanations from the Jordanian Foreign Ministry to clarify remarks allegedly made by Jordanian King Abdullah II criticizing Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, saying the prime minister views democracy as a “bus ride.”

Jordanian officials denied those remarks at a meeting today, a Turkish Foreign Ministry official told the Hürriyet Daily News.

According to the Turkish official, Jordanian officials told Ankara “they will give a [public] general explanation” concerning the issue.

Erdoğan is merely promoting a softer version of Islamism, the king told The Atlantic magazine in an interview. “Erdoğan once said that democracy, for him, is a bus ride,” he said. “‘Once I get to my stop, I’m getting off,’ [Erdoğan said].” King Abdullah paid a two-day official visit to Turkey earlier this month, where he appeared to shed tears as he visited Anıtkabir, the mausoleum dedicated to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey.

The king sees Erdoğan as a more restrained and savvier version of Mohamed Morsi, according to the interview. “Instead of the Turkish model, taking six or seven years, [instead of] being an Erdoğan, Morsi wanted to do it overnight,” he said.

“There is no depth there,” the king reportedly told The Atlantic, in reference to a recent discussion with the Egyptian president about the peace process in the Middle East. “I was trying to explain to him how to deal with Hamas, how to get the peace process moving, and he was like, ‘The Israelis will not move.’ I said, ‘Listen, whether the Israelis move or don’t move, it’s how we get Fatah and Hamas together.’”
When Morsi remained fixated on the Israelis, the king said, he tried to reiterate the importance of sorting out “the mess” on the Palestinian side.

“There’s no depth to the guy,” he said about Morsi.


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Notice on comments

Brit in Turkey

3/21/2013 10:03:50 AM

Leo Burger: I was attempting to convey that the King was more educated and worldly wise than the other.

Levent Vatandas

3/20/2013 7:31:43 PM

@Brit in Turkey:I do not feel as though you have made your point, referring to your comment:"Enough said."Why should the man's history (no matter from which perspective) be compared with the PM. I, for one, do no agree with a lot of things Erdogan has done, or with many other politicians;but that does not say anything as I think democracy is a farce and all politicians in the world are liars(1/2)

rich bind

3/20/2013 5:55:01 PM

I'm sure the King of Jordan is denying those remarks, . . now. But the Atlantic did not make them up. Sorry he is not sticking to his guns, his statement was right on.

cezer "çapulcu" skonore

3/20/2013 3:09:29 AM

The King is angry with RTE because of RTE's support to Muslim Brotherhood. As far as I remember, Erdogan compared the democracy to a train journey not to a bus journey. Maybe, the King is mistaken. Abdullah should get on the train himself quickly before the demonstrations start.

jim handley

3/19/2013 11:37:07 PM

As long as Erdogan can pull the wool over the eyes of the ignorant religious masses like Morsi does... he can claim he's for democracy in one sense. The problem is, the arrests of the journalists, the persecuation of the military leadership and subverting of democratic institutions.Most in the West do not consider Turkey as a true democracy yet.

Erlik Dolunay

3/19/2013 9:05:12 PM

That's a big LIE! Jordanian officials should be condemned on all levels and they should apologize publicly for this scandal! Because Erdogan did not use the word BUS - never! He said TRAM!

The Prisoner

3/19/2013 8:13:34 PM

If he said it, he's gone right up there in my esteem.


3/19/2013 7:08:25 PM

Yes it does, Mara, people change. One can argue, of course, no one changes that much after a certain age, especially on fundamental issues, but I don't believe Erdogan is the same Erdogan he was back in 1997, when he was the mayor of Istanbul representing Erbakan's Felicity Party. He's since abandoned Erdogan's movement, formed his own party, became a PM, met new issues, formed new alliances. The old Erdogan would never have said Egypt must be secular, in Tahrir Sq, much to the annoyance of MB.

Brit in Turkey

3/19/2013 6:30:21 PM

The King's mother was British, he was educated in England and USA, was commissioned in the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and served with the British army. Enough said. How does that compare with the PM?

Tekion Particle

3/19/2013 6:04:32 PM

I admire the analytical skills of the King. He is a good judge of character. What he said should not instigate a demand for explanation, he state a fact not an opinion.
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