What Turkish Model for the Middle East?

Just because Turkey recently banned Twitter and YouTube doesn’t mean it suddenly turned from a democracy into an dictatorship. Then again, has Turkey really been the so-called “democratic model” it has been advertised to be. Re-blogging my thoughts written over one year ago…

Eye on the East

At a time when many argued that democracy was incompatible with the Muslim-majority countries of the Middle East, the Turkish democratic model was always used as the ultimate example to the contrary. Developed in the backdrop of a ruthless military and a fiercely secular tradition, it provided a model that could be easily emulated by its neighbors, given similar societal composition and other commonalities that came with geographic proximity.  But is Turkey the best democratic example for its neighbors to follow? The more I read about Turkey and its recent trajectory, the more I believe the answer is no.

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Lebanon: A Gloomy Look Ahead

Sometimes, I think it would be easier to just re-post my thoughts and frustrations on Lebanon, again and again, in view of the current situation. I am not inclined to write a “Beirut Yet Again and Again” after the latest explosion in Beirut’s southern suburbs on January 2, after having written “Beirut, Yet Again” (بيروت ايضا و ايضا)  following the explosion in Downtown Beirut on December 27. The nature of the explosives may have differed and the location slightly shifted, yet nothing else has changed on the ground. Continue reading “Lebanon: A Gloomy Look Ahead”

فؤاد الترك … وكبير آخر يغادرنا وتفتقر بلادنا

Note: Eye on the East has the pleasure to feature guest writer Ambassador Samir Chamma who in his Arabic article below pays a moving tribute to late Lebanese Ambassador Fouad Al Turk. In “Fouad Al Turk: Another of the Greats Leaves Us, Further Impoverishing Our Country,” Chamma remembers his friend and colleague as the distinguished diplomat, faithful patriot, champion of dialogue, poet and kind and generous human being he will always be known for. This article was also published in Lebanese daily An Nahar (July 22, 2012) and Zahle’s Al Rawaby weekly newspaper (July 19-24, 2012).

فؤاد الترك … وكبير آخر يغادرنا وتفتقر بلادنا

… وباكرا باكرا التحقت باثنين من كبار سفرائنا. احباك واحببتهما. قدّراك وقدرتهما: ادوار غره ونجيب صدقة.

امينا عاما للخارجية انتقض نجيب صدقة.، رفض غاضبا- اواخر الستينات القرن الماضي- ان يكون شاهدا لاتفاقية قاهرة، برؤيته الثاقبة رأى انها ستقهر بلاده فتوقّع مع توقيعها عليها اخذها الى درب جلجلتها وستأخذ معها القضية الى الجحيم. Continue reading “فؤاد الترك … وكبير آخر يغادرنا وتفتقر بلادنا”