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A cornerstone of Bush administration foreign policy has been a new commitment to democracy in the Islamic world. In theory, Turkey should be a shining example for that policy, yet since the invasion of Iraq, Washington-Ankara relations have been strained. In addition, skeptics of the virtues of democracy in the Middle East point to the rise of a conservative Islamic party in Turkey as typical of the risks in opening up political systems to all comers in the Islamic world.

His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdogan was elected prime minister of Turkey in March 2003. Since that time, he has confounded an establishment nervous of his conservative credentials, he has been the first prime minister to call on the Turkish Chief Rabbi (in the wake of last month’s synagogue bombings), and he has pursued an aggressive path toward entry into the European Union.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will address these and other issues during this AEI luncheon talk.


11:45 a.m.
Richard Perle, AEI
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey
2:00 p.m.

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