Clinton eyes Turkey as model for Arab reform

July 16, 2011 - 4:44 AM
Turkey Libya Diplomacy

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a meeting with Turkish President Abdullah Gul , not seen, in Istanbul, Friday, July 15, 2011. Around 15 top diplomats including US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton are to meet in Istanbul to discuss a political solution to the conflict in Libya while co-ordinating aid for the rebels. (AP Photo/Saul Loeb, Pool)

ISTANBUL (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is holding up Turkey as a model for Arab nations now in the throes of revolt or democratic transition.

She says the moderate Muslim nation's economic and political success can translate to the Middle East and North Africa.

Speaking at a coffee house event in Istanbul on Saturday, Clinton said Turkey's 11-percent growth rate was impressive and that it, along with democratic traditions, could inspire Arabs in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Syria who are demanding reform. She expressed concern about recent government actions against the media but said Turkey has "a lot of lessons to share" with its neighbors in the Arab world.

Clinton is urging Turks to continue to embrace inclusive traditions and serve as a bridge between East and West.