One thing that’s struck me about the recent wave of triumphalism regarding good news from the Middle East is how rarely Turkey is mentioned. Yet Turkey’s progress towards full-scale Western-style democracy over the last few years has been by far the most hopeful development in the region over this period.
And the Bush Administration has played a positive (if occasionally unsubtle) role here, strongly backing Turkey’s application to join the EU, which is the main motive for reform. Yet this never seems to get a mention, while the fact that the absolute monarchs of Saudi Arabia have decided, like their counterparts in Communist China, to permit municipal elections is presented as if it’s a democratic revolution.
For those interested, The Economist has an excellent survey.
fn1. Except in the context of Thanksgiving.