Turkish president: Security-democracy link an issue we should stress sensitively
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
AA photo"In the present day, one can neither speak about security without democracy, nor a real democracy without security. Hence, democracy is both the most effective way to fight terrorism and our most valuable merit that we should jealously preserve," Turkish President Abdullah Gül said in his speech at the War Academy in Istanbul today.
"It is very important to separate our citizens who voice their demands within the democratic system without resorting to violence from those who are tied to terrorism," he added.
'Global weight center is shifting to Asia-Pacific in economic, military, strategic terms'
"Led by the United States, many countries are adapting their defense concepts and command structures according to the new strategic conditions. It is a necessity to revise the defense concept which fundamentally focuses on Europe and Transatlantic," he said.
"It is strongly possible that a new balance of forces based on the harmony of major powers such as the U.S., the EU, Russia, India, Brazil and Turkey will emerge in the first quarter of the 21st century," the president said.
"Political, economic, social and cultural factors have increasingly become a part of the safety equation. These parameters, named ‘soft power,’ have been added to the ‘military power,’ leading to the concept ‘smart power,'"he said.
"I believe that Turkey should act as a ‘virtuous power.’ A ‘virtuous power’ cares not only about the military/political dimension of security, but also justice and human values side,” Gül said, but that Turkey should first put its house in order if it wanted to become a “virtuous power."
"[Mustafa Kemal] Atatürk’s ‘Peace at home, peace in the world’ phrase has been guiding both our security policy and foreign policy. The most effective way to ensure peace at home is to turn our country into a first class democracy," he said.
"I want to emphasize that an advanced democracy does not mean the reflection of the majority’s will … after elections. An advanced democracy is a regime in which fundamental rights and freedoms are preserved on the grounds of the rule of law, which has a check and balance system in terms of all institutions within the constitutional system in which justice prevails without any delay," he said.
'Turkish Armed Forces is now one of the fundamental pillars of foreign policy'
"Turkey has been eagerly waiting for the day our friends in the region will finally enjoy a peace dividend," the president said in his speech.
"There are efforts to turn the insatiability in our neighbors into a new ‘Cold War scene’ where the regional and global power fights are rehearsed. Turkey has no luxury of watching from a distance under such circumstances. Hence, diplomatic activism and military preparation is not an option but a must for Turkey," he said.
Gül also warned Israel to carefully watch and analyze the political climate in the region.
"Democracy will soon or later prevail in the region. A democratic regime cannot implement a foreign policy deemed by its own people as unjust, inglorious and humiliating," he said.
"Israel will turn into a complete apartheid regime in the next 50 years if it done not allowed the establishment of an independent and proud Palestine state with its capital in East Jerusalem. That is why make an effort to achieve a fair peace with a strategic point of view is to Israel’s own interests," he said.
Arab Spring knocked down 'walls of fear'
"Trying to attribute the movements in the Middle East to an ideological motive or the result of foreign intervention is a strained analysis. The people in the region have revolted not only for their righteous demands but also to regain their national pride and dignity which have long been repressed," Gül said.