Turkey’s Multiple Paradoxes

The terrorist bombings in Istanbul in November 2003 created the impression that Turkey may be in danger of slipping into chaos or being infested by virulently anti-Western jihadi elements, because of both its geographic proximity to Iraq and the coming to power of a political party with Islamic roots a year earlier. Nothing could be further from the truth. Despite the bumps in the road, Turkey is launched on the path to democratic consolidation. The November 2002 elections ended years of political uncertainty resulting from unstable coalition governments. They brought to power a civilian government that has substantial popular support and is largely free from the massive corruption that seriously eroded the legitimacy of its predecessors.

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