Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Shocking revelations on South Korean ferry disaster provokes scathing editorials

Read more

HIGH PROFILE

Olivier Poussier, winner, world's best sommelier (2000)

Read more

HIGH PROFILE

Justine Dupont, surfer

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Peugeot-Citroën hopes for sales boost at Beijing auto show

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over 'shoe-shine scandal'

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - April 18th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - April 18th, 2014

Read more

WEB NEWS

France's top consumer group sues Internet giants

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users pay tribute to South Korea ferry victims

Read more

  • Boston readies for first marathon since bombings

    Read more

  • Deadly shootout in eastern Ukraine threatens Geneva deal

    Read more

  • S.Korea president says captain’s action akin to ‘murder’

    Read more

  • Why Syria’s cash-strapped jihadists let hostages go

    Read more

  • The Great War's unsung four-legged heroes

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine crisis overshadows Easter celebrations

    Read more

  • UK’s Hamilton cruises to victory at Chinese Grand Prix

    Read more

  • In pictures: French kite festival takes flight

    Read more

  • Freed French journalists arrive home after Syria ordeal

    Read more

  • Syria’s Assad visits recaptured Christian town at Easter

    Read more

  • Le Pen’s National Front fail to woo Britain’s Eurosceptics

    Read more

  • PSG clinch fourth League Cup title after beating Lyon

    Read more

  • Militants kill Algerian soldiers in deadly ambush

    Read more

  • Scores killed in South Sudan cattle raid

    Read more

  • VIDEO: Anti-Semitic leaflets in Eastern Ukraine condemned

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

Africa

Turkey's Erdogan makes case for Islam and democracy in Tunisia

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-09-15

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Islam and democracy would co-exist in Tunisia, much as they have in his own country, as he arrived in Tunis on Thursday on the second leg of a tour of "Arab Spring" countries.

REUTERS - Tunisia's new political order will show that Islam and democracy can co-exist just as they have in Turkey, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.

Erdogan, in Tunis on the second stop of a North African tour aimed at asserting Ankara's growing regional influence, said secularity should guarantee that people of all beliefs, as well as atheists, were treated fairly.

He said there was nothing to stop a Muslim from governing a secular state.

Tunisia plans to hold elections on Oct. 23 to select an assembly to rewrite the constitution, nine months after the revolt that swept away President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and sparked uprisings around the Arab world.

Islamist party Ennahda, banned for two decades under Ben Ali, is expected to poll strongly, unnerving Tunisian secularists.

Erdogan said the country should have nothing to fear from the influence of Islam in politics.

"The most important thing of all and Tunisia will prove this; Islam and democracy can exist side by side," he told a joint news conference with Tunisian caretaker Prime Minister Beji Caid Sebsi.

"Turkey, as a country which is 99 percent Muslim, does this comfortably, we do not have any difficulty. There is no need to hinder this by putting forward different approaches. In the broadest sense, consultation will put forward the will of the people," he said.

More than 90 political parties have sprung up in Tunisia since Ben Ali's fall. Ennahda is seen with around 20 percent in the polls.

Erdogan has been holding up Turkey's blend of Islam and democracy as a model for the movements which have toppled entrenched Arab autocrats in Tunis, Cairo and Tripoli.

"On the subject of secularism, this is not a secularism in the Anglo Saxon or Western sense, a person is not secular, the state is secular," Erdogan said.

"A Muslim can govern a secular state in a successful way."

After Erdogan received a rapturous welcome in Cairo this week, hundreds of Tunisians turned out to greet the Turkish premier at Tunis airport late on Wednesday, clutching portraits of him and hoisting banners reading "Welcome Erdogan!"

Ennahda leader Rachid Ghannouchi joined the crowds, praising Erdogan as someone who had "worked hard for Islam".

Ennahda, a moderate Islamist movement which has close ties with Erdogan's AK Party, has said Turkey's political model is something it aspires to.

Erdogan completes his tour in neighbouring Libya on Friday.

Date created : 2011-09-15

  • EGYPT

    Palestinian state not option but obligation, says Erdogan

    Read more

  • EGYPT

    Turkish PM in Egypt to show support for regional revolts

    Read more

  • TURKEY

    Turkish prime minister rules out Gaza visit

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)