Turkish PM to YT:Turkey committed to supporting democracy in region [Archives:2004/745/Front Page]

June 10 2004

Turkish Prime Minister Receb Tayyip Erdogan told Yemen Times that Turkey is committed to supporting democracy in the Arab region.
Asked by Walid Al-Saqqaf, Editor-in-Chief of Yemen Times, during the 57th World Newspapers Congress, held in Istanbul during 30 May – 2 June, whether Turkey has a plan to establish stronger relations and partnerships with the Arab world, particularly Gulf countries and Yemen, Mr. Erdogan responded positively by saying, “In terms of democratization efforts in the region, Turkey has already started enhancing its political relations with Yemen and the Gulf countries in particular and will steadily increase the level of cooperation.”
The PM added that relations between Turkey and the countries in the region will have a notable influence in enhancing democratic experience in the region. But he noted that achieving developed democracy in the region “will require long-term efforts.” Turkey and Yemen has exchanged high level visits to this purpose.
Mr. Erdogan noted that the role of media is instrumental in this regard and urged media establishments throughout the Arab world to “carry out their important responsibility” in this respect.
At the end of the meeting, PM Erdogan pledged commitment to continue cooperating with Arab countries including Yemen. “I believe there is a lot to be done, and I would like to convey through you my greetings to Yemen” he told Mr. Walid Al-Saqqaf.
Al-Saqqaf also met with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, who expressed delight at Yemen's participation in the conference and pledged to support Yemeni-Turkish relations.

Yemen-Turkey relations enhanced
Meanwhile, Yemen and Turkey are witnessing one of the strongest periods of cooperation and bilateral relations in their history. Just recently, many Turkish companies participated in an annual trade fair held in Sanaa. Yemen will also be sending a high-ranking delegation to Ankara, Turkey during the period from 6 to 8 June to attend a special historical exhibition about Yemeni-Turkish relations during different periods of history. The exhibition will be attended by Mr. Ali Abu Al-Rijal, the Head of the National Center for Documents and Information along with Dr. Abdulhadi Al-Hamdani, Vice Manager of Presidential Office. The event will include an exhibition of various historical documents and manuscripts reflecting the old communications and ties between Yemen and Turkey during different stages of history.

Successful Yemeni participation
Yemen Times represented Yemen during the latest World Association of Newspapers Congress held during 30 May – 2 June in Istanbul. The Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper represented the country during the conference by giving a talk in a roundtable during the first session of the conference held on Sunday May 30th. Mr. Al-Saqqaf pointed out in his speech the importance of having Arab leaders realize that a free and independent press works with and not against them. “With a free media, we have a watchdog that carefully monitors the moves of the government and points to inefficiencies, corruption and mismanagement.” he said.
It is noteworthy that the event in Istanbul was the largest of its kind with the participation of more than 1,300 representatives including editors, publishers, and CEOs from more than 88 countries. It was unfortunate however to witness the low number of participants from Arab countries as only Yemen, UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Lebanon were represented.