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  • Author: Suna Gülfer Ihlamur-öner
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The EU has been involved in democracy promotion in the Mediterranean for many years. However, it is facing criticism from its members and partners for prioritizing security and stability over democracy. Particularly following the Arab uprisings, the effectiveness of the EU's efforts have increasingly been called into question and demands for a new approach towards democratization in the Mediterranean are growing. Ann-Kristin Jonasson's book, The EU's Democracy Promotion and the Mediterranean Neighbors: Orientation, Ownership and Dialogue in Jordan and Turkey, systematically evaluates the EU's democratization efforts by focusing on democracy promotion in two Mediterranean countries, Jordan and Turkey, and effectively addresses the major pitfalls in the EU's strategy. Therefore, it is a timely contribution as the Arab revolutions have forced us to reconsider the prospects for democratization in the region.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Arabia, Jordan
  • Author: Paul Kubicek
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: The “Turkish model” has been upheld as a positive example for Middle Eastern countries, particularly in light of the Arab Spring. While Turkey is, in many respects, successful—it has a dynamic economy and in recent years has made great strides toward political liberalization— and the current Turkish government has high standing in the Arab world, this paper will argue that the applicability of a “Turkish model” to other settings is limited. In part, this is due to confusion over what the “Turkish model” precisely is or should be. For many years, the “Turkish model” was taken to be Kemalism, or a statist, authoritarian, secular order imposed “from above” with the goals of modernization and Westernization. More recently, the “Turkish model” would mean embracing a more moderate-type of political Islam, exemplified by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). While the AKP has proven to be successful in Turkey, it came to power in conditions very different than those that prevail in the Arab world at present. In particular, the AKP has evolved to reconcile itself to secularism in Turkey and embraced a program of Europeanization through accession talks with the European Union, an option not on the table in Arab states. Finally, a comparison of the political culture of Turkey with that in much of the Arab world reveals significant differences in values and priorities between the two cases.
  • Topic: Democratization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Hasan Kösebalaban
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Conventional models developed through the conceptual lenses of modernization theory dating back to the 1960s, are no longer applicable to Turkish politics; they fall short of grasping the changes that Turkish ideologies experienced in recent decades. In the face of Turkey's growing democratization and societal modernization, Turkish secularists have lost their status as agents of reform and gradually emerged as defenders of the status quo in the face of the rapid mobilization of Anatolian-based conservative society. However, no factor was more responsible for this transformation than the comprehensive external and internal structural changes that Turkey experienced in the post-Cold War era, leading to the emergence of a globalist conservative ideology in large parts of Anatolia. This paper examines the question of why those who are commonly associated in Western scholarly discourse with progress and modernity, have fallen behind the Muslim conservatives in pursuit of democratization and further integration of the country with the West. The paper argues that at the root of the present conflict lies the tension between two modernization routes: a bureaucratic top-down modernization that has allowed the allocation of privileges to the secularist/nationalist elites, and the grassroots socio-economic mobilization of conservative societal elements benefiting from international integration and globalization.
  • Topic: Cold War, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Joshua Walker
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The recent closure case brought against the ruling Justice and Development Party is a direct assault on Turkey's democracy. For this reason, America should not lose the opportunity to swiftly and unequivocally repudiate the establishment's attempts to re-assert control over Turkish politics by undemocratic means. The lack of a concrete resolution on the part of the U.S. in regard to the case has already resulted in a credibility gap. Given America's emphasis on and interest in Turkey's democracy and attendant reform process, a simple re-affirmation of its commitment to citizen's choices in free and fair elections would send a powerful message to a country that is on edge. Instead, Turkey is left with 'friends' who lack credibility and resolve at the worst possible moment. If the ruling party and its leadership are banned from political life, not only will Turkey lose its credibility in the Middle East as the only indigenous Muslim-majority democracy, the United States will also lose credibility in the world theatre for failing to support democracy in Turkey.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Government, Islam, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: America, Turkey
  • Author: Sevgi Akarçesme
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article analyzes relations between Turkey and the European Union (EU) in the aftermath of the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).The indictment targeting the governing party, which is widely considered to amount to a judicial coup, has received belated but strong criticism from EU officials in charge of relations with Turkey. Although the pace of reforms did decelerate in the period following the vigorous efforts of the early 2000s, the EU continues to serve as a catalyst for Turkish democracy. In this article, the possible impact of the indictment and the closure case on Turkish-EU relations and Turkish democracy at large is evaluated on the basis of the reactions it has elicited from both domestic and foreign actors. Despite the lack of genuine liberal democracy in Turkey, especially on the part its political parties, the EU anchor could still serve as a driving force for democratization if managed successfully.
  • Topic: Democratization
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Yusuf Şevki Hakyemez
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article discusses the limits of the freedom of political parties in Turkey. The political party bans constitute one of the most important problems threatening the freedom of political parties in Turkey. The restrictions on the political parties come to the fore in two different forms: dissolution after the military coups and closure by means of legislation. In the current context of the case opened against the AK Party, it may be possible and advisable to apply an amendment, bringing Turkish jurisprudence in such matters in line with the standards of the European community. It is concluded that the Constitutional Court should interpret cases of the dissolution of political parties in the context of the principles of "secularism" and the "unitary state" in such a way as to take into account the requirements of the principle of "the rule of law" and to allow different political alignments to express themselves in a "human rights respecting" and "democratic" country.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Human Rights, Politics, Law
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Ali Resul Usul
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Abstract: It is possible to argue that there exists a push-pull balance in the EU's democratic conditionality that the EU has been applying since the South European states applied for membership and/or association agreement. This article arguee that this push-pull balance in conditionality has created the Dynamics that could transform candidate states; and the best example that demonstrates the succesful impact of the EU conditionality is the relation between the EU's Eastern enlargement, the EU's democratic conditionality and the successful transformation of political regimes in the Central and Eastern Europe. However, this study puts forward that the push-pull balance of conditionality has started to deteriorate because in particular of the enlargement fatigue in the EU. This change might diminish the impact of the EU's political conditionality in the ongoing enlargement process (Turkey, Croatia and othet Western Balkan states).
  • Topic: Democratization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Eastern Europe, Balkans, Croatia