My visit to the United States has also given me the opportunity to emphasize the objective of establishing close and intensive links between the Turkish and American peoples, scholars and businessmen.
In this context, social consensus, and institutions that embody this consensus, must be made effective in order for democratization not to be abused as a provisional instrument to establish an anti-democratic regime.
So far, I have not come to any of the positions that I have filled through wanting to be there. I was sought - people wanted me to come to those posts. I am talking about all my positions: mayor of Istanbul, chairman of the party, prime minister.
Therefore, the question is not whether such democratization is possible, but instead how to meet the yearning of the masses in the Middle East for democracy; in other words, how to achieve democratization in the Middle East.
Islam is a religion. It is not an ideology. For a Muslim, there is no such thing as to be against modernity. Why should a Muslim not be a modern person? I, as a Muslim, fulfill all the requirements of my religion, and I live in a democratic, social state.
I regard the endorsement of both the objective and a method - which can differ from one country to another- of democratization by the parties in the region as a basic requisite of democratization in the Middle East.