Bill Clinton calls Turkey "key to future global understanding"
Turkey offers the West the way to a new future with the Muslim world, according to former US President Bill Clinton. Speaking at Saturday at Istanbul's Bilgi University, Clinton said that Turkey is maximizing its geostrategic potential and holds the key to global understanding between the nations of the world. Turkey's quick recovery from the global economic crisis, recent democratization efforts, and history of religious tolerance make the country a potential gateway for understanding between Eastern and Western civilizations, he added. "Turkey has shown respect for religion without being paralyzed by it," said the popular ex-president. "Turkey could be the gateway to a whole different world of understanding if it continues on its path of modernization and reconciliation." Clinton rejected claims that Turkey's is shifting its focus towards the East, saying that it remains a firm anchor between the East and the West. "Turkey is on its independent course of building bridges," he said. In his speech, Clinton spoke on the impact of increasing interdependence between nations at the dawn of the 21st century, saying it is changing the world for both the better and the worse, and that it is up to people to accentuate the positive.