US' Ricciardone praises Turkish democracyus
Ambassador to Ankara Francis Ricciardone yesterday praised the level of democracy in Turkey's compared to 12 years ago. "There is democracy [that is] much more open … than it was before," said Ricciardone in remarks at Ankara-based think tank USAK. "Yes, there are issues and serious problems and you, as Turks, are not satisfied with your democracy and that makes me more optimistic than ever." He added, "We Americans are not satisfied with our democracy either. Any people that really hold to their democracy and to their freedom can never be satisfied. You always want to improve it, whether it's freedom of expression or any other issue." Reviewing Turkey's great growth and change in recent years, Ricciardone said these changes came not only in the country's physical infrastructure, including highways, airports and electricity, but also in the "human infrastructure" of democracy. Ricciardone also said Turkey's dynamic civil society and its proliferation of think-tanks are more signs of the great development it has seen in recent years.