“Resisting the people’s will is like trying to make stream flow in reverse. Wherever that stream is going, it will get there eventually. The point of no return has passed. We have no intention to intervene in Egypt’s internal affairs, but there have been too many difficulties in the Middle East for decades. The region’s people have been paying for this. We are no country to sit and watch the Middle East from the stands,” the prime minister said.
He also stated that he believed the protests were going to spread to other Middle Eastern countries. Referring to recent documents broadcast by Al Jazeera about Palestine, Erdoğan said: “These people [Palestinians and Egyptians] have been personally experiencing these documents, let alone watching news about them on television. In a meeting attended by four prime ministers in Sharm el-Sheik, a woman -- apparently a journalist -- among the 2,500 people in the audience stood up and asked me how much time it takes to process election results in Turkey. I told her, ‘We get the official results in 24 hours, but the informal results are usually [available] by 10 or 11 p.m. on the night of the election.’ She said it took more than a month in Egypt. Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif was completely silent.”
Erdoğan said the Greater Middle East Project, a concept put forth by the US administration, was never more misunderstood anywhere else than in Turkey. “In the first phase of the project, Turkey, Italy and Yemen were co-president countries. But it was killed before it was born. Our part was improving women’s rights and democratization. Would it have hurt if we had made gains in these areas?” the Turkish prime minister asked. He criticized Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu for accusing him of collaborating with the US, referring to Erdoğan as “co-chairman” of the Greater Middle East Project along with US President Barack Obama. “During our republic’s history, they always put the blame on the West. They said the Zionists did this or that. What is it that you have ever done? One should be on guard and be prepared to do something on his own,” Erdoğan added.