Foreword: Viewing Turkey Through an Authoritarian Mist?
Burning Bridges: Turkey's Return to Islamic Authoritarianism, Forthcoming
6 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2017
Date Written: February 25, 2017
As is now well known, “Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the secularist army officer who founded modern Turkey in 1923 sought to sever his land’s ancient bonds to the Middle East”. In the process, Turkey became a “rare example of a major Muslim country that is also a prosperous stable democracy”. Or so we thought. “Today that tradition is under attack as never before. Nearly a century after the Ottoman Empire gave way to today’s Turkish republic, a tectonic shift is under way”. Under the surly and increasingly iron-fisted rule of President Erdoğan, Turkey “is drifting away from its historic Western allies” and looking “like just another troubled corner of the Middle East”. Turkey is looking more and more like its Arab neighbors and “becoming infected with the same sicknesses — intolerance, autocracy and repression”.
The book, Burning Bridges: Turkey’s Return to Islamic Authoritarianism originated out of a scholarly conference, which took place in Oxford England, during the spring of 2015. The book considers Turkey’s vexed relationship with the United States, Israel, Hamas, Russia and NATO during the past several decades. It offers informed analysis regarding Turkey’s future place in the world and in particular the highly troubling world of the Middle East. Attentive readers will observe that despite its position as a non-Arab state, Turkey has become plagued by one of the Arab world’s most debilitating features: the advent of a culture of grievance that is defined more by what people oppose, than by what they aspire to, thus enabling the region’s autocrats to adroitly channel public frustration toward external “enemies” and away from their own misrule . The Foreword: Viewing Turkey Through an Authoritarian Mist?, attests to the breadth of issues and the crosscurrents that plague any attempt to understand Turkey in our contemporary world.
Keywords: Turkey, military, Muslim, Ottoman Empire, autocracy, Erdogan, Middle East, terror
JEL Classification: B10, K1, K10, K30, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation