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Turkey: Ankara Trying to Project its Brand of Democracy in Muslim World

A protester holds up an anti-Mubarak at a February 6 rally in Istanbul. (Photo: Dorian Jones)

Political passions in Turkey are rising as Ankara becomes more assertive in trying to project its brand of democracy across the Muslim world.

“Mubarak the dictator go!” shouted hundreds of Turkish protestors outside one of Istanbul's main mosques, after Friday prayers. Many of the demonstrators chanted for the anti-government unrest in Cairo to spread across the Middle East, while some carried placards that said "Tunisia yesterday, Egypt today and Syria tomorrow.”

The protest close to the main gates of Istanbul University drew a throng of students, including 22-year-old Havva: "We want to show the Egyptian people that we support them on their journey to freedom. We just want to show people that Muslim presidents and prime ministers don’t have to be there by force, people can choose them as well. "

The demonstrators were mainly supporters of Turkey’s governing Justice and Development Party (AKP). Their protest followed comments by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that firmly placed him with the Egyptian protestors seeking to push Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak from power.

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Dorian Jones is a radio journalist living in Turkey.

Turkey: Ankara Trying to Project its Brand of Democracy in Muslim World

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