CHANGE AT HOME, CHANGE IN THE WORLD

Turkish Review - - CONTENTS -

PRES­I­DENT AB­DUL­LAH GÜL PROF EKMELEDDİN İH­SANOĞLU HRH PRINCE AL-HAS­SAN B. TALAL 2011 saw the Arab Spring blos­som across Mid­dle East and North Africa, prompt­ing Turkey to ex­pand its “zero prob­lems with neigh­bors” for­eign pol­icy into a more ro­bust ap­proach, sig­nal­ing that it in­tends to fill -- at least par­tially -- the cur­rent power vac­uum in the re­gion. A sim­i­lar chal­lenge re­mains ahead for Turkey and its fel­low states within the Mus­lim world: tran­si­tion to a more demo­cratic sys­tem of rule. As Ankara tries to in­flu­ence Mid­dle East and North African coun­tries, urg­ing them away from ex­treme Is­lamism and to embrace the for­ma­tion of sec­u­lar Mus­lim states based on the Turk­ish model, it too is pre­par­ing to re­new it­self. Work has now be­gun in earnest on a new con­sti­tu­tion to re­place the ex­ist­ing 1982 it­er­a­tion, drawn up un­der mil­i­tary rule. Key to all th­ese de­vel­op­ments is that the will for change must come from within: For re­gional sta­bil­ity and pros­per­ity, there can be no im­po­si­tion of an ex­ter­nal so­lu­tion.

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