Turkish ruling party model for Muslim states - Erdogan

Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi (left) with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, 30 September Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi (left) was among the leaders listening to Mr Erdogan's speech

Related Stories

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has said his ruling political party has become a model for others to follow in Muslim states.

He was addressing a congress of the AKP, the Islamist-rooted party which has dominated Turkey for a decade.

The presidents of Egypt and Kyrgyzstan were among the guests in Ankara.

Khaled Meshaal, exiled political leader of the Palestinian group Hamas, told the congress the party had shown the "bright face of Islam".

"Erdogan, you are not only a leader in Turkey now, you are a leader in the Muslim world as well," he said.

Start Quote

This stance has gone beyond our country's borders and has become an example for all Muslim countries”

End Quote Recep Tayyip Erdogan Turkish Prime Minister

The AKP (Justice and Development Party) has won three consecutive election victories since 2002, ending a history of military coups and fragile coalition governments.

It has presided over strong economic growth and a more assertive foreign policy, combining economic liberalism with religious conservatism.

However, critics accuse Mr Erdogan of a confrontational style of politics.

"We called ourselves conservative democrats," he told the congress on Sunday.

"We focused our change on basic rights and freedom. This stance has gone beyond our country's borders and has become an example for all Muslim countries."

The BBC's James Reynolds at the conference says Mr Erdogan wandered the stage in shirt sleeves. He spoke for more than two hours, and looked comfortable enough to carry on all day.

The congress shows the extent of the prime minister's political ambition - our correspondent adds. Leading Turkey alone isn't enough for Mr Erdogan: he wants his country to take a leading role in the entire Middle East.

Guests at the congress included Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev and Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Europe stories

RSS

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.