AKP, the Arab Spring and the Unravelling of the Turkey ‘Model’

Dr Md. Muddassir Quamar is Associate Fellow at Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile.
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  • July 2018

    The rise of the Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (AKP), its domestic and foreign policy successes and its early response to the Arab Spring made it popular in the Arab world. Many inside Turkey, the US and the Arab world saw the AKP as an Islamist party with a difference, that could be a ‘model’ for the Arab countries struggling with a democratic deficit. The violent turn taken by the uprisings in Syria, Iraq and Egypt and the internal developments in Turkey that followed afterwards, however, exposed the limitations of the ‘model.’ This essay argues that Turkey cannot be a ‘model’ as it suffers from shortcomings, but it can offer some lessons for the Arab world.