The ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) political model has been labeled an alternative to the radical and extremist movements in the Middle East by the party's deputy candidate from Istanbul, Ali Sarıkaya. Stressing that the AK Party is well known around the world, he said "If this could have been applied to the region (the Middle East), people would not have turned to al-Qaida and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). Because if you close the door to true politics, that energy will definitely flow somewhere else."
In an interview on Monday in Turkish daily Yeni Şafak, Sarıkaya indicated that thanks to the AK Party model, Turkey has become a rising star in the region, taking the side of people who struggle for their honor in the midst of the unclear and unstable atmosphere of the Arab uprisings. He remarked that the "People of the Middle East said 'They can come to power with their ideas and they can also work for the happiness of neighboring people; we can do this as well.' The Arab Spring emerged out of calls for democratic elections and this glow of freedom surrounded the whole region. The AK Party model of Turkey became a precipitating factor in this late demand for freedom."
Sarıkaya, who has also been advising Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu's for a number of years, pointed out that Sufism nourished the Turkish-Islamic tradition and said, "If an ISIS-like structure does not arise and extremist factors are unable to gain a foothold in this region, the Turkish-Islamic tradition, having been nourished by the Sufi tradition, has definitely played a role. The Sufi Islamic tradition and the AK Party political model, is a fundamental reason for this."
He also emphasized his belief that people who fight in accordance with their demand for freedom will sooner or later achieve their objective. Sarıkaya said, "Some specific areas that could not tolerate the Middle East's democratization performed a couple of attempts [to stop it]. Yet, the people's demand for democracy and freedom cannot be forestalled. Even these demands are interrupted because of interventions from outside took place, this glow of democracy and demand for freedom will eventually come out in the wash."
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