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Turkish President Turgut Ozal asked that Turkey be recognized as the economic "model" for the nations of the Middle East and Eastern Europe to follow, as he delivered the Wharton School's annual Julius Steinberg Memorial Lecture on campus yesterday afternoon. Introduced by Wharton Dean Thomas Gerrity as "a fearless innovator and champion of economic reform," Ozal spoke about his vision of Turkey as a new economic power to the over 500 people in attendance. "Turkey is the only country today with Western orientation and Islamic identity," he said. President Sheldon Hackney also praised Ozal as he conferred an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree on him. "You are deserving of admiration for your courage, your faith in humanity, and your international perspective -- as well as for your indisputable courage and 'cool,' " said Hackney in his citation. Ozal focused a portion of his hour-long lecture and 30-minute question and answer period on the role of Turkey in the current events of the region. "War has shown the differences among the Arabs themselves," said the Turkish president. "If they had been united, this occupation of Kuwait may have never happened." He added that the war has boosted both the credibility of the United States throughout the world, as well as that of Israel. He also said that should a much-discussed Arab-Israeli peace conference take place, Turkey is "ready and willing to host it." Ozal spoke about his recent meeting with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and his belief that "communism has collapsed," his program for the advancement of the economy in the Black Sea region and his role as the "education president" of his nation. In 1987, when Ozal was Prime Minister, the government decided it would give special attention to "the areas of education, youth and sports, [and] health and science." "The future of the world depends upon the highly educated people of the world," he said. Following his lecture, for which he received a standing ovation, Ozal expertly fielded questions from members of the audience, primarily from representatives of the protesting organizations. On the issue of Northern Cyprus, which Turkey has occupied for several years, Ozal said, "I hope we will find a way to solve it." On the issue of the Armenian Genocide, he said, "I am very sorry about it . . .Let's forget about what happened 75 to 76 years ago and leave it to the historians to answer it." Students in attendance said the Turkish President gave an "excellent" lecture. "He presented his views, and as the dean said, 'his vision,' very well," said Wharton junior Cenk Uygur, a student from Turkey. "He is the right choice as President. He represents us [the Turkish people] excellently." "I think he proved to be a very experienced man," said second year government administration graduate student Christina Alvarez. "That was reflected in the way he answered the questions. I think he expected the questions that were asked."

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