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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.

March/19/2013

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