Sectarianism in the Middle East has intensified since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and the outbreak of the Arab Spring, and has transformed into local sectarian and regional geopolitical confrontations among some Gulf States and Iran. The nature of this conflict is disputed. Is it a geopolitical regional rivalry or a purely sectarian conflict? This paper argues that it is a geo-sectarian contest over the Gulf. Therefore, firstly it argues that the nature of the conflict is fundamentally geopolitical. Secondly, it traces and analyzes the factors that led to the rise of sectarianism. Finally, it discusses the legitimacy of the emergence of a Sunni camp against the Shia camp.
Many actors have been interested in probing the approach that enabled Turkey to transform the country into a model of success within a few years. Ironically, this model is at the same time both a source of encouragement and apprehension for Islamic parties and the West. Although it presents an inspiration to Islamic parties and provides them with moral support and hope for change, this article investigates the considerations preventing them from reviewing their approaches to imitate the Turkish model. It assesses the Western interests and concerns over this model and discusses to what extent the West is interested in promoting such a democratic process elsewhere. Prior to analyzing these responses, it discusses the structure and elements constituting the Turkish model.