UK's Chatham House selects Gul for top statesman award
President Abdullah Gul has been selected as the 2010 recipient of the prestigious Chatham House Prize, awarded by the British think-tank to the statesman who has made the most significant contributions to improving international relations over the past year. Gul is scheduled to receive the prize, which bears the signature of Queen Elizabeth, at a ceremony in Britain on Nov. 9. At the ceremony, Gul will deliver a speech reportedly focusing on the changing nature of international relations and Turkey's central role in this. Gul will reportedly urge nations worldwide to cooperate closely on setting the course of the emerging multipolar system. Stressing Turkey's readiness to help diagnose and treat the disease of terrorism, Gul will reportedly caution that defining terrorism too broadly threatens world peace. When Europe decides what replaces various ideologies and "isms" in the 21st century, Turkey, at the hub of the world's transformation, will be decisive in this, he will say. Gul is also set to decry misperceptions about Islam across the world, and particularly in Europe. Warning that seeing Islam through a political lens leads to distortions, Gul will rebuff the misconception that Islam is an enemy of civilization, and call for concerted efforts to prevent Europe from defining itself as anti-Islamic. "President Gul is recognized for being a significant figure for reconciliation and moderation within Turkey and internationally, and a driving force behind many of the positive steps that Turkey has taken in recent years," said Chatham House of the honor. "Mr. Gul has worked to deepen Turkey's traditional ties with the Middle East, mediate between the fractious groups in Iraq and bring together the Afghan and Pakistani leaderships to try to resolve disputes during 2009. He has also made significant efforts to reunify the divided island of Cyprus and has played a leading role, along with his Armenian counterpart, in initiating a process of reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia. President Gul is also recognized for being an unwavering proponent of anchoring Turkey in the European Union. Under his leadership, Turkey is consolidating civilian democratic rule and undergoing extensive political and legal reforms to bring the country closer to European standards of democracy and human rights."