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Will 'Democratization Package' Restore Erdogan’s Reputation?

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s democratization package should help Turkey’s international standing, as long as it is implemented correctly.
People watch a television broadcasting the speech of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan at a coffee shop in Istanbul September 30, 2013. Turkey may reduce the threshold for a political party to enter parliament to 5 percent of the national vote, or even eliminate the barrier completely, Erdogan said on Monday. The current 10 percent threshold has kept pro-Kurdish groupings outside of parliament and a reform that may help advance a flagging peace process with Kurdish militants. In a major policy speech, E

When the Arab Spring broke out in December 2010, Turkey was considered a neutral soft power that could help stabilize the turbulent Middle East by being a positive political and economic model. It was, after all, a predominantly Muslim country with a democratic system of government, despite past interruptions to the democratic process.

It was also a country with a vibrant economy, growing rapidly and raising standards of living. This aspect was particularly admired by many in the Middle East, where people’s interest in the Turkish lifestyle also skyrocketed, as evidenced by the mass appeal of Turkish soap operas depicting alternatives ways of living for modern Muslims.

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