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    President Gul: The forces of democracy and tolerance must cooperate against fanatacism

    Hürriyet Haber
    02.10.2007 - 13:03 | Son Güncelleme: 02.10.2007 - 14:06

    Speaking yesterday on the first day of the Turkish Parliament's new legislative year, newly elected President Abdullah Gul underscored the importance of not allowing ethnic and religious fanaticism to push the society towards polarization and hatred. Said Gul, "The forces of democracy and tolerance must cooperate against the exploitation of ethnic and religious differences in our society."

    Gul also touched on the current preparations underway to create a new constitutional framework, noting "One of the measures of a successful democracy is the ability of the moderates to influence and persuade those who are more radical."

    Gul also delivered praise to the Turkish military in his speech, commenting that he "greeted the services of our heroic Turkish military with appreciation." He said "It is possible only with a strong economy that we can have a strong military and a strong democracy." Later, he also mentioned the recent slaying of villagers in a PKK terror attack outside of the southeastern city of Sirnak, condemning those behind the act.
     
    Gul's first speech before the TBMM was 40 minutes long, and greeted by standing ovation from fellow ruling AKP members. As in his swearing-in ceremony, the newly elected president chose to wear not a tuxedo, but a suit, during his parliamentary address. Despite the length of his speech, there was no water placed on Gul's lectern, as the president is fasting due to Ramazan.

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