Turkey has been experiencing a transformation process since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Then President of Turkey, Turgut Özal, instigated a program of change; however, his successors failed to continue the process. Throughout the 1990s, Turkey was trapped into unstable coalition governments and it was unable to initiate a large-scale reform package. It was when the AK Party came to power in 2002 that Turkey initiated a comprehensive program for the reconstruction of the state.
Turkey is located between some of the most penetrated and volatile regions in the world, namely the Middle East, the Balkans, Caucasia and the Eastern Mediterranean. Political and economic instability, historical and cultural problems, and the interference of global powers make it difficult for regional countries to pursue an independent foreign policy since these regions are among the main geographies used and sacrificed for the global power calculations.
Turkey has been holding elections since the end of the 19th century; and the country has been enjoying democratic elections since 1950. With a well-established electoral system, both local and general elections in Turkey are held in peace and stability. While there is no debate about the freeness, fairness and transparency of the elections, there are always some discussions about the representation problem such as the real power of politicians, the national threshold for political parties to be able to send their representatives to the parliament and the lack of instruments to overcome political crises.
The date of July 15, 2016 is a watershed in the history of democracy as well as in the history of Turkey. On the night of July 15, the world witnessed an exceptional and historic event. The Turkish people heroically stood up against the brutal coup plotters; they became an example for other peoples on how to defend your nation and on what is the real meaning of national self-determination. At the same time, they gave a valuable lesson to the Western governments on how to support a democratically elected government. But more than anything, Turkish people proved to themselves that it is they who decide for themselves, for their future. After all, isn’t that what democracy is all about?
The Syrian Crisis, the bloodiest front of the Arab uprisings and one of the main determinants of policies of regional and global powers, has been dominating international politics for the last five years. Having caused the death of more than 300 thousand civilians and forced relocation of more than 7 million Syrians, it is one of the direst international problems that the global powers must deal with.
Germany, who challenged the British and its allies twice in the first half of the 20th century, began to reemerge as a global political power and to play the “big game” in the wake of the Cold War. As the strongest economy and the most crowded country in the European Union (EU), Germany has decided to lead the EU institutions and the old continent in global platforms. Especially after the reunification of the country, Germany started to dominate European politics.
Religion, religious groups and teo-politics are always most vital topics of the Western politics. The relationship between politics and religion is reciprocal. While both domestic and international political actors try to exploit religion and religious sensitivity for their political interests and gains, religion and belief systems want to use significant power over main political and cultural actors and perceptions. With the emergence of the violent non-state actors such as Taliban, al-Qaeda and DAISH, which were all surfaced in the Middle East but have become transnational actors deeply affecting European politics, and the recent popularity of far-right Islam-phobic movements such as PEGIDA in Europe have once again forced us to look closely at the relationship between religion and politics in Western politics specifically in Europe.
This article analyzes the development of Turkish-Saudi Arabian relations from the beginning of the struggle of the al-Saud family to gain power in the Arab peninsula to today. As a result of negative perceptions from both sides, bilateral relations were distant for decades. However, Turkish-Saudi relations began to improve remarkably under the AK Party and King Abdullah governments and a rapprochement started in 2005. Many agreements were signed during visits by political leaders from both sides. After the Arab uprisings began at the end of 2010, both countries took their cooperation further. As the two countries least influenced by the uprisings, Turkey and the Saudi Kingdom have been supporting the newly emerging political elites (Islamic groups) in Egypt, Libya and Syria; they have been maintaining close relations with the Western countries; and they have been trying to preserve regional stability and balance against Iran and its allies. However, there are some differences in their regional policies, such as their perceptions on the pace and scope of changes.