Kyrgyz politician hails Turkey as model for region
Turkey disproved the falsehood that a modern democracy in the Turkic and Islamic worlds is impossible, said Omurbek Tekebayev, a former Kyrgyz Parliament speaker and deputy prime minister, over the weekend. Tekebayev, the leader of Kyrgyzstan's Ata Meken Party, made the remarks at a press conference in Ankara on Saturday, following talks with top officials including President Abdullah Gul, Parliament Speaker Mehmet Ali Sahin, and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Turkey has pledged to help support Kyrgyzstan establishing a parliamentary system in the country. Speaking at the press conference, Tekebayev said the riots that led to the ouster of the Kyrgyz government earlier this year brought a historic change to the country. Kyrgyzstan is set to hold parliamentary elections in October. Tekebayev said the country has been ruled by only one family since the 1990s ushered in the post-Soviet era, which he branded a "criminal" period. Two Kyrgyz presidents have been ousted over the last five years, said Tekebayev, because the Kyrgyz people didn't want a dictatorship. "Democracy is a lifestyle," he continued. "It is untrue to say that democracy cannot be established in Central Asia, Turkic and Islamic countries." He added, "Turkey's parliamentary system proves that a modern democracy can be formed in the Turkic and Islamic worlds. We want to end the system that was handed down from father to son in Kyrgyzstan."