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Scholz, Ines

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Wiener Zeitung - Austria | 14/09/2011

Erdoğan consolidates power in Middle East

During his visit to Egypt on Tuesday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke out in favour of Palestine being recognised as an independent state. Erdoğan's speech before the foreign ministers of the Arab League was aimed at consolidating Turkey's position as a regional power, the liberal Wiener Zeitung surmises: "The Palestinian flag should be hoisted up at the United Nations, Erdoğan says. That Turkey is so visibly taking sides has to do with its own growing self-confidence in economic and foreign policy affairs. It wants to strengthen its image as a regional power. The government in Ankara is only too happy to see the country serving as a model for the Arab states' efforts towards democracy. Erdoğan too, held up Turkey as a model in Cairo - for example for the separation of religion and state. This principle, he hoped, would be enshrined in Egypt's new constitution."

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