Turkey’s Erdogan flaunts democratic credentials in Muslim world

Updated 01 October 2012

Turkey’s Erdogan flaunts democratic credentials in Muslim world

ANKARA: Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan trumpeted Turkey’s credentials as a rising democratic power on Sunday, saying his Islamist-rooted ruling party had become an example to the Muslim world after a decade in charge.
Addressing thousands of party members and regional leaders at a congress of his Justice and Development (AK) Party, Erdogan said the era of military coups in the nation of 75 million people was over.
He vowed to forge a more diverse constitution and turn a new page in relations with Turkey’s 15 million Kurds, in a speech lasting almost two and half hours and meant to chart the AK Party’s agenda for the next decade.
“We called ourselves conservative democrats. We focused our change on basic rights and freedom,” Erdogan told thousands of cheering party members at the congress in a sports stadium in the capital Ankara.
“This stance has gone beyond our country’s borders and has become an example for all Muslim countries.”
Leaders including Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev and Masoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region, were among the guests.
Under Erdogan’s autocratic grip, the AK Party has won three consecutive landslide election victories since 2002, ending a history of fragile coalition governments punctuated by military coups and marking Turkey’s longest period of single-party government for more than half a century.
Per capita income has nearly tripled in that time and Turkey has re-established itself as a regional power, with its allies seeing its mix of democratic stability and Islamic culture as a potential role model in a volatile region.
“Turkey has shown the bright face of Islam,” Khaled Meshaal, Hamas’s leader in exile, told the congress. “Erdogan, you are not only a leader in Turkey now, you are a leader in the Muslim world as well.”
But critics denounce Erdogan’s authoritarian style, accusing him of stifling dissent and using the courts to silence his enemies. They also say he has failed to bring any hope of an end to a 28-year-old conflict in the mainly Kurdish southeast.


COVID-19 infection rates among UAE citizens increased by 30%

Updated 32 min 8 sec ago

COVID-19 infection rates among UAE citizens increased by 30%

  • The total number of recorded cases in the UAE is 61,845 and 354 deaths
  • Meanwhile, the UAE celebrated reaching 5000 vaccinated volunteers in its phase III trials of an inactivated vaccine

DUBAI: The UAE’s Minister of Health and Prevention announced a 30 percent rise in new COVID-19 cases among citizens on Thursday and warned of the dangers of gatherings that do not follow measures.

The minister called for those in the UAE to exercise caution and care in order to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

The official spokesman for the UAE Government, Omar Al-Hammadi, said that the total number of recorded cases in the UAE is 61,845 and 354 deaths, while the current number of patients receiving treatment has reached 5,752.

Meanwhile, the UAE celebrated reaching 5000 vaccinated volunteers in its phase III trials of an inactivated vaccine for COVID-19, state news agency WAM reported.

The trials began in Abu Dhabi last month after China’s Sinopharm CNBG, the world’s sixth-largest vaccine manufacturer, developed an inactivated vaccine that successfully completed phase I and II of testing.

Phase I and Phase II trials, which were conducted in China, resulted in 100 percent of the volunteers generating antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, after two doses in 28 days.

Over 80 nationalities in the UAE have volunteered to participate in the trails, according to WAM.

“This milestone marks a significant achievement for the ongoing clinical trials and is testament to the global commitment to humanity of everyone who calls the UAE home,” Chairperson of the National COVID-19 Clinical Management Committee, Nawal Ahmed Alkaabi, said.

"We reached the 5000 vaccinations faster than anticipated and believe that our trials of the inactivated vaccine are moving faster than comparable trials processes anywhere in the world,” he added.

Alkaabi said that the UAE aims to vaccinate 15,000 volunteers.

The thousands of volunteers who have been vaccinated come from a diverse background and are of all ages between 18 and 60.