Debating democracy in the Arab world is all the rage lately. Can an Arab state really handle democracy? What about Hamas? What if Egypt falls to Islamist radicals?
No one, it seems, thinks of the republican democracy called Turkey. By some fiction we consider it part of Europe but it's 99.8% Muslim and pretty obviously part of the Middle East. Know who else thinks that? Barack Obama, that's who. The US president and Turkish prime minister Edrogan were on the phone over the weekend discussing ways of preventing the Middle East from falling into chaos. Afterward the Turkish PMO released a statement that Obama and Edrogan "have agreed on the necessity of meeting the legitimate and democratic rights of the people in the region.”
What's that, "region?" What region? The entire Arab world? Anybody think the despotic Gulf States will be keen to hear that one?
Edrogan hasn't said anything specifically about Mubarak but he's expected to make his and his government's views public tomorrow in his weekly address to his ruling Justice & Development party.
Turkey has already airlifted about 1,200 Turkish nationals out of Cairo and is planning further evacuation flights. The country is also making preparations to receive and accommodate foreign nationals at Ankara airport.