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Relevance of quot Turkish Model quot in the Middle East

Relevance of "Turkish Model" in the Middle East

INSIGHT TURKEY DEBATES   Chair:     İhsan Dağı, Insight Turkey    Speakers:    Kemal Kirişci, Boğaziçi University     Alper Dede, Zirve University      Date: June 2, 2011 Thursday  Saat: 14.00-16.00  Venue: SETA, Ankara

INSIGHT TURKEY DEBATES   Chair:     İhsan Dağı, Insight Turkey    Speakers:    Kemal Kirişci, Boğaziçi University     Alper Dede, Zirve University      Date: June 2, 2011 Thursday  Saat: 14.00-16.00  Venue: SETA, Ankara

A wave of change has been shaking the Arab Middle East led by Tunisia and Egypt, spreading to Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and Syria. We are witnessing what is apparently the emergence of “people power” in the Middle East. Whether it will be institutionalized in the form of democracy is yet to be seen. In this context, a new debate has been launched on the the implications of the Turkish model for the developments in the Middle East. The “Turkish model” shows that people of the Middle East do not have to choose between an authoritarian government and an Islamist regime. There is a third option, which is a representative and accountable government with free and fair elections.

Insight Turkey and SETA Foundation cordially invite you to a debate on the relevance of Turkish model to the Middle East. The debate will feature Professors Kemal Kirisci of Bogazici University and Alper Dede of Zirve University, whose work on the subject appeared in the latest issue of Insight Turkey.

Kemal Kirisci is a professor at the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Bogazici University, Istanbul. His areas of research interest include European integration, asylum, border management and immigration issues in the European Union, EU-Turkish relations, Turkish foreign policy, ethnic conflicts, and refugee movements. He has previously taught at universities in Britain, Switzerland and the United States. Alper Y. Dede works as a professor at the Department of International Relations at Zirve University, Gaziantep, Turkey. His research focuses on state control over religion in Egypt and Turkey within the context of Islamism from a social movement perspective. He has published several articles on Turkish Foreign Policy, Islamism, and Turkish Politics. He has previously taught at various universities in the U.S. between 2005 and 2010.     Please click on the following links to reach the authors’ articles on the subject: Kemal Kirişçi’s article   Alper Dede’s article

Event summary

SETA hosted the first “Insight Turkey Debates” series titled “Relevance of ‘Turkish Model’ in the Middle East”. The moderator of the debate was İhsan Dağı (METU), and the speakers were Alper Dede (Zirve University) and Kemal Kirişci (Boğaziçi University).

Alper Dede mostly talked about what the Turkish model is, and what kind of relevance could be possible for the ME. Dede pointed out that many people thought gradual change would be possible for the ME, instead revolutionary changes became a possible way. Dede rightly asked that “change was expected, but why now?” He attributed this to well-educated young people and the social media, alongside with the social and economic shortcomings. Dede said that only new Turkey (the more democratic, more prosper, more powerful one) can be a model for the ME, not the old one. New Turkey has better and closer relations with the regional countries, and Turkey’s Islamism is more market-oriented, said Alper Dede. He added Turkey’s soft power over the region is another factor for which Turkey can be, if possible, a model for the ME. Alper Dede lastly mentioned Turkish model is applicable for the regional countries, but they still need to step forward in political, economic and social realms.

Kemal Kirişci highlighted that we should