Middle East Politics

Turkey is a democratic republic with a multi-party political system. As almost any young democracy with a considerable amount of political forces entails, there is some political tension among the parties of Turkey. The main political cleavage in modern Turkish politics seems to lie along the lines of left-oriented versus right-oriented political parties.

After the elections in summer of 2011 Justice and Development Party (AKP) has confidently won the elections and established the majority in the government. However, its main opponent, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), came second as a result of July elections. Overall, these two parties embody the two opposing political camps in Turkey today. On one hand, The AKP is a leader of nationalist and Islamic-oriented forces. On the other hand, CHP is at the head of left-oriented democratic parties that have got European orientation. Integration into European Union has for a long time been high in Turkey’s priorities list. Republican People’s party believes that this is the appropriate course of action and that it should be maintained. Together with that, the party (as well as its proponents) proclaims that the democracy should be further developed. Justice and Development Party, although not declining the notions of democratic society, has a somewhat different view on other aspects. In its political program, AKP specifies that the relationship with Middle East countries have to be upheld and developed. For instance, a free trade agreement with India is one of the suggestions of the party.

 As a comparatively young political party, AKP is quite aggressive and assertive in its actions. The leaders of the party wisely use the wide range of promises to gain more voters from different social classes, occupations, and beliefs. In this respect, CHP is more conservative and rigid, which might deprive it of some voters who might otherwise be on its side. The opposing views of these two parties five a good idea of the political antagonism in Turkish politics today.

There are several types of political systems in the Middle East today. Different types of republic seem to be the most wide-spread political systems in the Middle East, but there are also some forms of monarchy as well as political systems that are difficult to define at all. There can be found parliamentary and presidential republics, absolute or constitutional monarchies, and several forms of dictatorship.

Saudi Arabia is an example of an absolute monarchy. It is a country with rich resources but rigid political rules. One person is at the head of the all decisions. The king has unlimited power and control over country’s oil resources, which puts him at an extremely advantageous position while his people do not always receive sufficient benefits. United Arab Emirates is a federation with elective constitutional monarchy. It is one of the most liberal and progressive countries in the region. The monarch holds power in a state but the branches of power are independent and able to take decisions on their own. However, there is a number of states that have a republic as their political system. Turkey is an example of republican parliamentary democracy. Turkey has long won the reputation f the most Europeanized Middle East country. The citizens of this country can enjoy the relatively democratic society and influence the domestic and foreign politics through the elected body of representatives.

Unfortunately, most of the time the official political system is just a formality that hides undemocratic acts of state leaders. In reality, the vast majority of Middle East countries are under the dictatorship regimes. The examples include Syria, Lebanon, or Libya. In Syria, for instance, the real power is concentrated in the hands of elite.

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