Turkey’s 9th President Süleyman Demirel was in active politics for over 35 years, serving as prime minister for almost 12 years in total and finally as president before his retirement in 2000. His vast experience in Turkey’s own democratization process holds many lessons that are relevant for the countries of the region. In the interview we conducted with him, President Demirel shares his views on the state of democracy in the region, identifying the fundamental dynamics of a functioning democracy and cautioning against quick fixes that can divide rather than unite. Demirel criticizes both the Turkish governments management of relations with the U.S. and the management of Turkey’s public opinion on the Iraq issue. As for Turkey’s regional role, Demirel believes improving its own institutions and practicesis the most effective way for Turkey to contribute to the goal of democratizationin the Middle East...Please click here to read the text in full.