For Immediate Release
June 30, 2004
From remarks by President Bush, Istanbul, Turkey, 6/29/04
Turkey has found what nations of every culture and every region have found: If justice is the goal, democracy is the answer.
In the Middle East, there is wariness toward democracy, and it is often based on misunderstanding. Some in Muslim cultures identify democracy with the worst of Western popular culture, and want no part of it.
The blessings of liberty are not about coarse videos and crass commercialism. Citizens of free societies have every right to strive peacefully for a moral society.
The promise of democracy is fulfilled in freedom of speech, rule of law, limits on the power of the state, economic freedom, respect for women, and religious tolerance.
Achieving democracy can require decades of effort and reform. In the United States, it took generations to throw off slavery, racial segregation, and other practices that violated our ideals. So, this government does not expect or demand that other societies be transformed in a day.
Democracy leads to justice. The advance of democracy leads to greater security among nations.