“Here’s a proposition: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the outstanding democratically elected national leader in the world today. You beg to differ? Really? Who tops him? President Obama? You must be joking. Elected on hope, with majorities in both houses of congress, and by the end of his first year what has he got to show for it? A health bill? Guantanamo still got non-paying guests? Goldman Sachs still unregulated and unmonitored? No, I can’t see it. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown? He’ll be gone in 90 days. French President Nicolas Sarkozy? We’re still waiting for all his global initiatives on financial regulation. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is doing a serious job, but let’s face it, she only has domestic responsibilities. Brazil’s President Lula da Silva is close — but you can’t win my award when your most famous city, Rio, has vast areas outside the rule of law. No. The man who is without doubt the cleverest, roughest, toughest, most humane political leader in the world today is Erdogan. The ongoing confrontation with some senior figures in the Turkish military over an alleged coup plot is only the latest proof of the man’s mastery.”
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