Involving sixty countries, the Belt and Road Initiative sparked a global debate because of its potential economic and political implications. Sceptics argue this project cannot achieve its objectives as it requires close cooperation amongst many countries whose national interests are on a collision course. The optimists contend the initiative provides a win-win scenario for participating countries. This paper argues that success of the project in the Middle East depends on overcoming several challenges including: eliminating security threats and terrorist organizations; finding sustainable solutions to political tensions and armed conflicts; and consolidating good governance.
The international community faces a series of serious challenges, which need to be urgently addressed otherwise the ongoing conflicts will become entrenched and will have increasingly dire spillover effects on the region and globally.
Fair and transparent elections provide an opportunity for citizens to continue or discontinue with the incumbent administrations and political parties. Elections are also moments for the renewal of confidence or expressing popular discontent with the ruling political authority. In modern democracies, it is only through elections and political participation that governments change and political transition takes place. Therefore, established democracies and countries, which aspire for democratic representation, invest in elections and political participation as the main sources of legitimacy. It is on the basis of such legitimacy that political parties and governments can effectively function in modern nation-states. It is primarily for this reason that whenever there is discontent and search for alternative political representation, elections provide the opposition groups and parties with the opportunity to challenge the ruling political parties and governments.
The end of the Cold War ushered in a new era, leading to the transformation of the international system and shifting the power balances among regional and global actors. Not only have the conventional practices of international relations and foreign policy making undergone a radical change but also emerging actors began to exert their influence in regional and global economic and political reconfigurations not previously seen.
As Turkey prepares for local, presidential and general elections in the next two years, domestic and foreign policy issues are becoming central topics of public debate in the context of democratization, economic development, and regional stability.
This article examines how the European elite views new parameters of Turkey’s increasing activism in the Middle East with special emphasis on county’s role in the Middle East in the context of claims of shift of axis on ideological grounds and Turkey’s relations with the EU, Iran and Israel. It is demonstrated the emerging European perception among policy analysts and scholars regarding Turkish foreign policy is generally positive, and recent changes do not mean a shift in country’s foreign policy orientation. Turkey is still perceived to be part of the Western alliance, but it is now seen more confident in taking initiatives and more eager to develop a regional approach.
There are many institutions playing a role in weaving the ideals of democracy into Turkey’s social fabric. Many political actors in Turkish politics, which include the leftists, rightists, liberals, and statists along with those who established the Republic with their military identity, all contributed to society’s participation in the execution of the state affairs.
Migration and settlement of Turks and Muslims in Europe since the 1960s irrevocably changed the social, cultural, religious and demographic landscape of European societies by transforming them into ethnically more heterogeneous and diverse political communities.
Debates on the position and reaction of Muslim societies towards secularism and democracy have considerably increased in recent years. Contextual factors have left their imprints on such discussions; in the post 9/11 period, the number of those who argue that Islam inherently contradicts secularism and democracy has increased.