What Turkish Model for the Middle 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. Continue reading “What Turkish Model for the Middle East?”

Minister of the People

There is nothing like waking up on a Sunday morning to an episode of one of many inspiring and animated Lebanese political talk shows. Well, not really.  Political talk shows are only a mirror of the dismal centuries-long political vicious circle we have been stuck in, anything but inspiring and animated in a tragicomedy kind of way.  But when I tuned to New TV’s Sunday talk show yesterday, there he was with his salt and pepper mustache that Lebanese men of old days would swear on; characteristically irritated and annoyed; decorating his speech with the vernacular that you’d never think would make it on national television. Listening to Charbel Nahas at any time of day is refreshing and animated, and so I watched on. Continue reading “Minister of the People”