Within less than a decade Turkey has really turned around in almost all strategic aspects. In 2002, it suffered from almost all the ills that Pakistan is facing today. A sinking economy, political instability, 'junta dominated civil-military equation and polarised society were the hallmarks of Turkey. It prided itself on secular ideals and shunned its Muslim identity, because getting the membership of the European Union (EU) was a matter of life and death. Nevertheless, this was the profile of the state only; the public sentiment was quite the opposite. Shrine going jeans wearing youngsters, privately praying elderly and masses flocking to see the Islamic relics in the specially arranged centres represented the simmering attachment of the Turkish people to Islam. Undercurrents were visible indicating that the people were looking for an outlet, an opportunity and a genuine political leadership. Earlier, Prime Minister Najmuddin Erbkans government had represented the Islamic aspirations of the Turkish people. His government came to power in 1996, but was ousted by the 'junta in 1997, and Erbkan was later jailed on flimsy charges. Late Erbakan is referred to as the teacher of a number of Turkeys leading political figures. He was, indeed, the mentor of the current leadership, including President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan; they owe Najmudin Erbkan the foundation of their political thought process. Anyway, the third consecutive victory of Turkeys ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) indicates amazing confidence the people repose in the leadership of Prime Minister Erdoğan, who has taken bold and visionary decisions for their uplift and to carve out a place of respect for the country in the comity of nations. Before becoming the Prime Minster, Erdoğan had already established his credential as a charismatic leader with vision and an agent of change during his tenure as the Mayor of Istanbul during 1994-98. The ruling party has clinched a record victory (50.3 percent) in last weeks parliamentary polls. It is the partys highest electoral tally since it came to power. However, AKP fell short of the two-thirds majority in Parliament, which it was eagerly seeking to amend the Constitution that is a legacy of the 1980 military coup. Nevertheless, the third time around mandate of AKP is a clear proof of the approval of its policies by a majority of the nation. The electoral outcome is, indeed, a potent endorsement of the balance between economic liberalism and religious conservatism offered by Erdoğan. The main opposition, Republican Peoples Party (CHP), is second with 25.9 percent, followed by the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) with 13.1 percent. Out of national population of around 73 million, more than 50 million people were eligible to vote; turnout was around 87 percent. Generally, voting was peaceful and orderly, with large crowds gathered to cast ballots. For the first time, voters cast their ballots in transparent plastic boxes. The measure was designed to prevent any allegations of fraud. These elections are an indicator of stability in an increasingly confident country. Surely, this victory is a tribute to AKPs excellent performance, which has presided over strong economic growth and has adopted an assertive foreign policy. Per capita income of the country, which tripled to $10,079 during its tenure is indicative of the success of its economic policies; the party aims to further jack it up to $25,000 by 2023, when Turks commemorate the centenary of the Turkish Republic. The AKP owes its enduring popularity mostly to economic success and improved public services, following years of financial instability. The growth rate last year was 8.9 percent, the second highest among G-20 nations after China. Turkey has become an economic powerhouse and influential player on the global stage. Inflation, which had, for decades, adversely affected the country's economy, was brought under control and the Turkish lira regained its former prestige through the elimination of six zeros. As Prime Minister, Erdoğan implemented numerous reforms. Forty-five years after Turkey signed an Association Agreement with the European Union, the negotiations for its accession to the EU started during his tenure, and that too in a respectable way. Erdoğans foreign policy reflects the sentiments of the Turkish people, in the context of daunting challenge facing the Muslim Ummah. The Middle East, Afghanistan, and Kashmir issues have attracted his special attention. His initiatives like brokering an arrangement between Brazil and Iran to avert a nuclear impasse during the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference of 2010, opening of an office for the Taliban in Turkey, abstention in the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 pertaining establishment of no-fly zone over Libya, and refusal to participate in NATO operations in Libya are reflections of a robust foreign policy with Islamic inclinations. Turkey has repeatedly spoken for the rights of protesters in the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa. On symbolic plane, he has snatched back the respect for hijab from Sarkozys fanatic jaws. Likewise, the Freedom Flotilla episode in 2010 brought the Palestinian issue under intense international focus. Israel committed high sea piracy against a modest convoy of six boats carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza. Nine innocent pacifists were killed and the boats were impounded. The reaction by the comity of nations and agencies like the United Nations, OIC and Arab League was of severe denunciation of Israels brutal acts. Erdoğan came out with flying colours by expressing his desire to join the struggle and by being on board such subsequent ventures to break the inhuman blockade of Gaza. He, indeed, set the tempo for the rest of the politicians to follow. Due to his defiant rhythm, pressure snowballed on Israel, resulting into prompt release of the prisoners. In his post-election victory speech, Erdoğan said: We will be humble. He also pledged to start work on a new Constitution: We will be seeking consensus with the main opposition, the opposition parties outside of Parliament, the media, NGOs, with academics, with anyone who has something to say. In his victory speech, the Prime Minister alluded to Turkeys ambitions as a regional leader and voice for the Muslims, declaring that Bosnians, Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians would benefit as much from the election as the Turks. Turkey stands out as an island of peace in a region marred with uprisings and instability. The government says it seeks to craft a Western-style democracy and join the European Union. However, its Islamic roots are a source of suspicion among the secular circles that once dominated Turkey with the militarys help. Once in power, secular fanatics had given Turkey poverty, dependence and instability. During recent years, the government has sharply reduced the political clout of the military, and taken some steps to ease restrictions on minorities. Erdoğan has promised that the new Constitution would be more democratic and would include basic rights and freedoms. Beside the economic success, Erdoğans sustained public support has been built on ending decades of chaotic coalitions, military coups and failed international financial bailouts. Erdoğans victory has been received with joy in Pakistan because he has been instrumental in bringing the two nations closer. The resolve shown by him and his spouse in helping the flood and earthquake affected masses has earned him a permanent place in the hearts of the Pakistani people. Turkey presents a role model for Pakistan. The public sentiment in Pakistan is, indeed, on a look out for its Erdoğan n The writer is a retired air commodore of Pakistan Air Force. Email: khalid3408@gmail.com