Gul on Egypt: "If the leaders dont lead, the people will"
Joining a chorus of criticism from Turkish leaders, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President Abdullah Gul yesterday criticized Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, saying that Egypt's people are pressing ahead for reforms where Mubarak did not. "Recent developments in Muslim countries are not surprising," he told a joint press conference in Ankara alongside visiting Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan. "At the Organization of the Islamic Conference meeting in Tehran, I made a call to all Muslim countries to make sweeping political reforms. I said that if they do this of their own will, everything will be better. Unfortunately, the people will move ahead with such reforms if the leaders do not." He added, "Egypt's security, stability and being a strong friend and ally are very important. However, the more the wishes and demands of its people are taken into consideration, the quicker action is taken and the shorter the transition process lasts, the better everything will be. Turkey has historical, cultural and religious ties with Muslim nations. Thus, it is our wish that these people be happy and enjoy high standards of living."