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Azerbaijan’s first lady

Jun 17, 2008 | Comments Off

The Washington Times

BYLINE: By Tulin Daloglu, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Mehriban Aliyeva, the first lady of the Republic of Azerbaijan, graciously welcomed guests to Gulustan Palace in Baku last week for an international forum on “expanding the role of women in cross-cultural dialogue.” She looked like Audrey Hepburn as she greeted the attendees – her black hair was tied elegantly in a tight top knot, she wore makeup on her dark eyes, and her short-sleeved black dress had a round collar that left space to show off her glamorous pearl necklace and earrings. She spoke her native languages, Azeri and Russian, as well as English, showing confidence as she swiftly changed from one to the other. Mrs. Aliyeva is an inspirational role model for her nation – especially women.

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OPINION: Bush’s freedom agenda

Jun 3, 2008 | Comments Off

The Washington Times

BYLINE: By Tulin Daloglu, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

“Some skeptics of democracy assert that the traditions of Islam are inhospitable to representative government,” President Bush said in 2003. “I believe every person has the ability and the right to be free.”
The Muslim Middle East surely would find it difficult to quarrel with Mr. Bush’s point of view if political leaders in Turkey – the country his administration has held up as a model of democracy to the region – agreed with him. “The Muslim majority, too, faces problems regarding religious freedom in Turkey,” Foreign Minister Ali Babacan complained last week at the European Parliament. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed, saying, “No one can deny that there are no problems.”
This criticism of Turkey’s 85-year-old democracy by its elected officials that it allegedly denies its people – whether it be minority or majority – freedom of religion is no doubt propitious for examining.

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