April 28, 2012
Turkey Has Reasons to Fear Arab Spring
Ersin Kalaycioglu, Bitter Lemons
When the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi in Sidi Bouzid led to an avalanche of protests in Tunisia in January 2011, nearly the entire Arab world began to rock with popular uprisings. Unforeseen protests by Arab youth seemed to catch diplomats, politicians, and students of Middle East politics unprepared. The initial reaction of the pundits was that a long awaited wave of democratization appeared to have arrived.
Then, the initial euphoria began to subside as the events in Yemen and Libya turned into tribal warfare and in Syria into sectarian civil war. Since we have no evidence in human history that tribalism leads to democracy, pundits began to wonder whether Arab revolt was ushering in democracy, tribalism, or yet another form of authoritarianism such as theocracy.
TAGGED: Egypt, United States, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Islamic Republic of Iran, Syria, Libya, Turkey, Turkish government, Tunisia, Mohamed Bouazizi