For years, the Turkish economy has been booming. Externally, Turkey has also gained in importance. But the country’s rise recently came to a sudden halt. In the spring, fierce demonstrations rocked its cities. Protestors – primarily from the middle class – took to the streets to demand more democracy and rally against the conservative turn of Prime Minister Erdogan’s AKP government. At the same time, Turkey’s influence in the region fell. Just prior to the Arab Spring, the country was on the brink of rising to the status of a regional power in the Middle East; instead, however, the war in neighbouring Syria and the weakening of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has left the country facing a foreign policy mess.
At the GIGA Forum, Yaşar Aydın and André Bank will discuss the internal and external challenges Turkey faces ten years after the AKP took power. The talk focuses on two central questions: Are the protests a turning point in the country’s development? How much influence does Turkey still have in the region?
Yaşar Aydın is a research associate at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin. His current research focus is migration between Germany and Turkey and the new Turkish diaspora policy. Artikel zum Thema: Protest und Opposition in der Türkei – Das Ende einer Erfolgsgeschichte? / Die Hintergründe der Proteste: Wie sich der Kulturkampf in der Türkei radikalisiert / Erdoğan hat kaum Alternativen
André Bank is a research fellow at the GIGA Institute of Middle East Studies. His work focuses on issues of authoritarianism and regional policy in the Middle East.
Margot Schüller is a research fellow at the GIGA Institute of Asian Studies whose work concentrates on China’s economic development.