Speaking in New York, Gul looks to Turkey's future
Speaking about Turkey's prosperous future on Friday, President Abdullah Gul reiterated Ankara's stance on issues such as Iran's nuclear program and the diplomatic crisis with Israel. Speaking at the World Leaders Forum in New York, Gul said, "Getting to this point hasn't been easy. We paid our dues. We mustn't question our past but try to understand our actions in our quest for liberty and more freedom for laws in the future." Addressing the changing face of international politics and the shift in the definition of a state, Gul said that Turkey still has some way to go and must raise its standards, but that it is ready and aspires to be a world-class democracy. Gul also hailed a referendum in Turkey earlier this month approving a major package of constitutional changes. On regulation of the Internet in Turkey, Gul said that certain websites are not available for tax reasons, not due to censorship. Moving to the diplomatic crisis with Israel, Gul rejected comparisons between Turkey's Kurds and the Palestinians in Gaza. "The Kurds are Turkish citizens," he explained. "We have been living together for hundreds of years. There are Kurds in our cabinet. But Israelis and Palestinians don't come from the same nation. Gaza doesn't belong to the Israelis. The struggle in Turkey and the struggle in the Middle East are not the same."