Independent and cutting-edge analysis on Turkey and its neighborhood

The Arab World in Flux, Winter 2012

The Arab World in Flux, Winter 2012

  In this issue of TPQ, we take up a wide selection of topics pertaining to upheaval in the tumultuous Middle East and North Africa – the so-called “Arab Spring” or “Arab Awakening”. In particular, this issue surveys geopolitical shifts, political and economic governance questions, and debates about the interaction between Islam and democracy across Turkey and the Arab world. As always, the topics are covered by authors of diverse...

Nigâr Göksel | 05 February 2012

Interview with King Abdullah II, Winter 2012

Interview with King Abdullah II, Winter 2012

  In an exclusive interview with TPQ, His Majesty King Abdullah II reflects on how Jordan is living the Arab Spring and how the historic changes of the past year are impacting regional dynamics. To Jordan, King Abdullah explains, the Arab Spring was a much-awaited opportunity to overcome internal resistance to change and embark on an unprecedented political reform process. On the regional scene, the on-going Syrian crisis, and its potential consequences...

King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein | 05 February 2012

Interview with Bernard Lewis, Winter 2012

Interview with Bernard Lewis, Winter 2012

In this exclusive interview with TPQ, Bernard Lewis attributes Turkey’s historical progress to the practice of self-critique and to the choice of women’s empowerment. These are also the qualities, if maintained and developed, that will ensure a bright future for Turkey, he states. Indicating that in Turkey “at the moment, the movement seems to be backwards rather than forward,” Lewis points out that Turks currently face a choice. About...

Bernard Lewis | 05 February 2012

Software for Peace, Winter 2012

Software for Peace, Winter 2012

The day after revolution is never easy. Euphoria fades quickly; expectations are prone to quick frustration…Experience shows that change is never easy, and it never happens overnight. Instead of “transitions,” we should rather speak of “transformations.” Political change on the scale we saw in Eastern Europe and we are witnessing today in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya involves more than transition – it takes in all aspects of a State, its...

Irina Bokova | 05 February 2012

Notions of Identity in the Bahrain Unrest of 2011, Winter 2012

Notions of Identity in the Bahrain Unrest of 2011, Winter 2012

Bahrain's multi-ethnic and diverse society has undergone tremendous challenges since the onslaught of the unrest in February 2011. This essay highlights the many layers of identity in Bahrain's national definition. Fluctuating between religious and ethnic realities, the author questions which identity or narrative should ultimately manifest itself for this island community to co-exist peacefully and respectfully in line with its historical background...

Mai Bint Mohammed Al Khalifa | 05 February 2012

Arab Revolution: Should we Still Call it "Spring"?, Winter 2012

Arab Revolution: Should we Still Call it

The Arab revolution has a long way to go before settling itself and establishing a calm and stable climate conducive to democracy in the region. Some Western circles envision the creation of a moderately Islamic and relatively democratic Sunnite “belt” in the Middle East. This approach rests on the assumption that “moderate Islam” is the antidote of “radical Islam”, which does not match oriental realities. The AKP government in Turkey...

Osman Korutürk | 05 February 2012

The "14 January Revolution" in Tunisia and Turkish-Tunisian Relations, Winter 2012

The

It has already been more than a year since the first protests of the Arab Spring sparked a historic series of events, which continue to this day. The people of Tunisia, being the trigger of the Arab Spring, expressed their desire for a better future, deep democracy, respect for fundamental rights and freedoms and a more prosperous life in dignity – for themselves and the future generations. Turkey has been on the side of the Tunisian people all along the “14...

Akın Algan | 05 February 2012

Turkey and the Arab Uprising: A Mixed Record, Winter 2012

Turkey and the Arab Uprising: A Mixed Record, Winter 2012

It is likely that countries in the Middle East will develop along the lines of their own particular histories, politics, and cultural idiosyncrasies. This does not mean that they have nothing to learn from Turkey but, in this moment of national empowerment, when Arabs in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, and perhaps Syria are throwing off decades of dictatorship, they will likely – despite an interest in Turkish political and economic development– seek...

Steven A. Cook | 05 February 2012

The Arab Aggiornamento in Syria: Turkey's Foreign Policy Metaphors, Winter 2012

The Arab Aggiornamento in Syria: Turkey's Foreign Policy Metaphors, Winter 2012

The ongoing Arab aggiornamento is essentially a call for freedom and human solidarity. As such, from a secular point of view, it can be interpreted as an example of Camusian rebellion rather than one of ideological revolution. Due to its patchwork of ethnicity and religious difference, Syria more than any of the other Arab nations exhibits the stubborn refusal to engage in sectarianism in the face of enormous state repressive measures and strategies meant to incite...

Bruce Mabley | 05 February 2012

Turkish Delight? The Feasibility of the "Turkish Model" for Egypt, Winter 2012

Turkish Delight? The Feasibility of the

While comparisons and arguments for why the Turkish Model is relevant to burgeoning MENA countries now undergoing transition abound, the infeasibilities of “selling” this model have been less explored. This article makes the argument that positing Turkey’s successes in the last decades as a “model” for transitioning MENA countries is counter-productive. The author examines this concept primarily through the lens of Turkey...

Mohamed S. Younis | 05 February 2012

Alevis and the Turkish State, Winter 2012

Alevis and the Turkish State, Winter 2012

The Alevi Opening, an attempt of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) to “solve” the Alevi “problem” through a series of workshops between the State officials and the Alevi community was completed in 2010. The two prominent Alevi Federations, however, are not satisfied with the “Opening” and do not see the “problem” as solved. In this article, the authors provide a short description of the Alevi issue, pointing out the...

Zeynep Alemdar & Rana Birden Çorbacıoğlu | 05 February 2012

NATO, the Mediterranean Dialogue, and the Middle East: It is Time for NATO to Get Serious, Winter 2012

NATO, the Mediterranean Dialogue, and the Middle East: It is Time for NATO to Get Serious, Winter 2012

This article deals with efforts in seeking to upgrade Israel’s relationship vis-àvis NATO prior to and during NATO’s New Strategic Concept Seminars. We, as the MMH Global Strategies, address the earlier need to take Israel from being a Mediterranean Dialogue (MD) participant and strengthen its status within the premier military alliance to serve as a strategic counter balance to an impending nuclear Iran. Additionally, the breakdown of the...

Matthew Mark Horn | 05 February 2012

An Underestimated Human Rights Issue: Female Genital Mutilation in Iraq, Winter 2012

An Underestimated Human Rights Issue: Female Genital Mutilation in Iraq, Winter 2012

Female genital mutilation (FGM, hereinafter) is a form of gender-related violence that was hitherto only known to be practiced in many African countries and in Yemen…Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is prevalent in all governorates of the Kurdish Northern Iraq, except in the far northern Duhok region. This area is also marked by very high rates of honor killings, domestic violence, forced marriages, and other gender-related crimes. FGM is just another product...

Arvid Vormann | 05 February 2012

Turkish Nationalism and Turkish Islam: A New Balance, Winter 2012

Turkish Nationalism and Turkish Islam: A New Balance, Winter 2012

  Nationalism and Islam have widely tended to be viewed as separate elements in the Turkish context. However, Islam has, in fact, been a foundational part of Turkish identity since the establishment of the Turkish Republic; and, on the popular level, Islam cannot actually be separated from nationalism. The equation of Turkish with Muslim identity was always tacitly understood; now it is explicit. Previous Turkish governments have, at times, won support by...

William Armstrong | 05 February 2012

Russian Foreign Policy in Light of Changing Balances in the Middle East, Winter 2012

Russian Foreign Policy in Light of Changing Balances in the Middle East, Winter 2012

  If Turkey is able to regain the influence she once enjoyed during the period of the Ottoman Empire, this would have negative consequences for Moscow and Tehran in the Middle East. Russia pursues a policy of balancing in the Middle East. In the course of the 2000s, Russia has been trying to weaken ties between Turkey and NATO, as well as Turkish-American cooperation. The revolutionary events in Syria since March 2011 have recently brought about divergence...

Orkhan Gafarli | 05 February 2012

Book Review: Hamas Under Different Social Microscopes, Winter 2012

Book Review: Hamas Under Different Social Microscopes, Winter 2012

  The January 2006 legislative elections in Palestine changed the balance of power in the country and dealt a new hands of cards in the Arab-Israeli conflict…The new balance of power in Palestine has triggered new debates in the scholarly circles of the West…Although they approach Hamas from different perspectives, Hamas in Politics: Democracy, Religion, Violence by Jeroen Gunning; Inside Hamas: The Untold Story of the Militant Islamic Movement...

Kıvanç Özcan | 05 February 2012

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FROM THE DESK OF THE EDITOR
From The Desk Of The Editor This issue of TPQ comes at a time when global instability is arguably at its highest point since the end of World War II. The Western-led liberal world order that emerged in its wake, anchored by NATO and bolstered by multilateral institutions such as the European Union and the World Bank is fraying, and the principles upon which the order was founded are being undermined. Furthermore, the...
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