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  • Author: Bell Ozkan
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Policy Quarterly
  • Institution: ARI Movement
  • Abstract: The complex relationship between political Islam and the Turkish state – from political exclusion in the early Republican era, to power-sharing in the post-World War II multi-party era, to political incumbency in the 2000s – was crowned by AKP’s landslide electoral victory in 2002. The author debunks two myths regarding this relationship: first, that Kemalism enjoyed a monopoly of political power for decades and second, that Islamists achieved victory in 2002 after being the regime’s sole opposition. According to the author, Turkey’s failed Middle East policy can be attributed to AKP’s misconception that its Islamic counterparts would achieve power after the Arab uprisings just as they had done in Turkey in 2002.
  • Topic: Religion, Elections, Democracy, Domestic politics, Secularism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Bernard El Ghoul
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Policy Quarterly
  • Institution: ARI Movement
  • Abstract: The intensification of Russia’s diplomacy in the Middle East is combined with a clearly defined objective: positioning itself as the new protector of persecuted Christians in the region. The author highlights both the ambitions of the Kremlin in the Mediterranean and the ever-growing influence of the Russian Orthodox Church, which has become a major political actor. Moscow sees Shiite Islam as its ally in the Middle East and is increasingly aligning itself with a Shiite axis composed of Iran, Syria, and the Lebanese Hezbollah. The author examines this burgeoning Russian-Shiite alliance in light of Russia’s strategic interests in the region.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Religion, Violent Extremism, Hezbollah
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Middle East, Lebanon, Syria