A Decade Later: Taking Stock of the Arab Uprisings and Turkey’s Role

Yıl: 2021 Cilt: 23 Sayı: 02 Sayfa Aralığı: 213 - 234 Metin Dili: İngilizce DOI: 10.25253/99.2021232.12

A Decade Later: Taking Stock of the Arab Uprisings and Turkey’s Role

Öz:
This article attempts to understand the outcomes of the crackdown on the Arab revolts and the lessons learned thereof. There is no doubt that the Arab revolts were corrupted shortly after their start and used to serve the interests of counterrevolutionaries. The economic, social, and political problems, which triggered the riots in 2011, have not been mitigated a decade later. In this respect, Turkey’s respect for popular demands, the attractiveness of its democratic model, and it proactive foreign policy have concerned the Gulf states leading them to view Turkey as a country that they had to contain. However, Turkey’s post-2016 efforts to restore the balance of power through the use of hard power prevented Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates from developing a new regional blueprint under the Trump administration. Right now, there are indications that all regional powers are engaging in a fresh strategic assessment.
Anahtar Kelime:

Belge Türü: Makale Makale Türü: Araştırma Makalesi Erişim Türü: Erişime Açık
  • 1. For a summary of the Western perspective on the Arab Uprisings, see, Riccardo Alcaro and Miguel Haubrich-Seco (eds.), “Re-thinking Western Policies in Light of the Arab Uprisings,” IAI Research Papers, (Rome: Edizioni Nuova Cultura, 2012).
  • 2. For more information on the Turkish model, see, Mehmet Akif Kireççi, “Arap Baharı ve Türkiye Modeli Tartışmaları,” (Ankara: ASEM, 2014).
  • 3. Michael Safi, Antonio Voce, Frank Hulley-Jones and Lydia McMullan,”How the Arab Spring Engulfed the Middle East – and Changed the World,” The Guardian, (January 25, 2021) retrieved from https:// www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2021/jan/25/how-the-arab-spring-unfolded-a-visualisation.
  • 4. John L. Esposito, Tamra Sonn, and John O. Voll, Democracy After the Arab Spring, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), p. 3. The Arab Uprisings were described as a protest movement with no precursors. They were different from the anti-colonial independence movements of the early 20th century, as well as a series of revolutions between 1920 and 1973 that brought down monarchies, and the constitutional movements in the aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. First and foremost, the Arab Spring –as well as the Arab Winter that followed it– was a uniquely Arab experience. See, Noah Feldman, The Arab Winter, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2020), p. xii. Again, for an assessment of how the Arab Spring abolished the East-West divide and represented the end of the phenomenon of post-colonialism, see, Hamid Dabashi, The Arab Spring: The End of Postcolonialism, (London: Zed Books, 2012).
  • 5. The Arab Spring immediately begged the question whether it was going to lead to democratic transitions, akin to the Eastern European revolutions of 1989, or to the consolidation of authoritarian regimes –as was the case after the 1848 revolutions. During the wave of 1989, a number of external factors, including the Soviet Union’s collapse, the expansion of the Western security umbrella to cover Eastern European countries and the promise of admission into the European Union, supported capitalism and democracy in the eyes of the relevant countries. For the record, those external factors did not apply to the Middle East: the U.S. and the European Union, which traditionally supported authoritarian regimes to ensure the secure transportation of petroleum, to keep irregular migration under control, to combat terrorism, and to preserve the pro-Western regional balance of power, did not place at risk their pre-existing vested interests there. Furthermore, authoritarian regimes in the Arab world proved far more successful in keeping civil society under control and reproducing their authoritarianism. See, Burhanettin Duran and Nurullah Ardıç, “Arap Baharı,” in Şaban Kardaş and Ali Balcı (eds.), Uluslararası İlişkilere Giriş, (İstanbul: Küre, 2014), pp. 677-678.
  • 6. For a detailed analysis of the case of Tunisia, see, Alfred Stepan, “Towards a ‘Democracy with Democrats’ in Tunisia,” in Stephane Lacroix and Jean-Pierre Filiu (eds.), Revisiting the Arab Uprisings, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), pp. 9-28.
  • 7. For the resilience and adaptability of authoritarian regimes, see, Joshua Stacher, Adaptable Autocrats: Regime Power in Egypt and Syria, (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2012).
  • 8. Simon Mabon,”Arab Spring: After a Decade of Conflict, the Same Old Problems Remain,” The Conversation, (February 10, 2021), retrieved from https://theconversation.com/arab-spring-after-a-decade-ofconflict- the-same-old-problems-remain-154314.
  • 9. Ben Hubbard and David D. Kirkpatrick, “A Decade After the Arab Spring, Autocrats Still Rule the Mideast,” The New York Times, (February 14, 2021), retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/14/ world/middleeast/arab-spring-mideast-autocrats.html.
  • 10. For the birth, rise, and fall of ISIS, see, Ufuk Ulutaş, The State of Savagery: ISIS in Syria, (Ankara: SETA, 2016).
  • 11. Abdullah Yeğin, İran’ın Bölgesel Faaliyetleri ve Güç Unsurları, (Ankara: SETA, 2017); Bilgay Duman and Göktuğ Sönmez, “Haşdi Şabi’nin Ortaya Çıkışı ve Dönüşümü,” in Murat Yeşiltaş and Burhanettin Duran (eds.), Ortadoğu’da Devlet Dışı Silahlı Aktörler, (İstanbul: SETA, 2018), pp. 235-263.
  • 12. Adam Bensaid, “How Yemen’s ‘Arab Spring’ Turned into a Proxy War,” TRT World, (December11, 2018), retrieved from https://www.trtworld.com/middle-east/how-yemen-s-arab-spring-turned-into-a-proxywar- 22361.
  • 13. For a detailed discussion of the YPG’s ideology, organization and ties with the PKK, see, Can Acun, “PYD-YPG’nin Ortaya Çıkışı ve Dönüşümü,” in Yeşiltaş and Duran (eds.), Ortadoğu’da Devlet Dışı Silahlı Aktörler, pp. 299-324.
  • 14. Marc Lynch, The New Arab Wars, (New York: Public Affairs, 2006), p. xviii.
  • 15. Georges Fahmi, “The Arab Spring 10 Years On,” Chatham House, (January 26, 2021), retrieved from https://www.chathamhouse.org/2021/01/arab-spring-10-years.
  • 16. Esposito et al., Islam and Democracy after the Arab Spring, pp. 238-239.
  • 17. Burhanettin Duran and Nuh Yılmaz, “Ortadoğu’da Modellerin Rekabeti: Arap Baharından Sonra Yeni Güç Dengeleri,” in Burhanettin Duran, Kemal Inat, and Ali Resul Usul (eds.), Türk Dış Politikası Yıllığı 2011, (Ankara: SETA, 2012), pp. 20-21.
  • 18. Vali Nasr, “Conflicts Won’t Be Between Arab States and Iran,” Foreign Policy (March 2, 2021), retrieved from https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/03/02/the-middle-easts-next-conflicts-wont-be-between-arabstates- and-iran/.
  • 19. For more see, Duran and Yılmaz, “Ortadoğu’da Modellerin Rekabeti.”
  • 20. Following the replacement of the crown prince in Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, King Salman’s son, assumed the role of the country’s de facto ruler. He arrested high-level officials on corruption charges and forced Lebanon’s prime minister, Saad Hariri, to resign. The Houthi rebels attacked Riyadh with Iranian-made ballistic missiles, as the U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled his administration’s plan to ‘contain’ Iran. In Palestine, President Mahmoud Abbas was forced to accept Washington’s ‘peace’ plan, as Mohammed Dahlan, a UAE proxy, was groomed to lead the Palestinians. The Syrian opposition was forced to reinvent themselves in Riyadh, as Jared Kushner, the U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, built a special relationship with Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. All those significant developments suggested that the situation went beyond competition between Iran, on one side, and the Gulf and Israel –that it was intended to create a new blueprint for the region. See, Ufuk Ulutaş and Burhanettin Duran, “Ortadoğu’da Geleneksel Rekabet mi, Bölgesel Dizayn mı?,” in Kemal Inat, Ali Aslan, and Burhanettin Duran (eds.), Kuruluşundan Bugüne AK Parti: Dış Politika, (İstanbul: SETA, 2018), p. 63.
  • 21. Ibrahim Fraihat and Taha Yaseen, “Evolving Trends in the Post-Arab Spring Era: Implications for Peace and Stability in the MENA Region,”Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, Vol. 15, No.3 (2020), retrieved from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1542316620934365, p. 337.
  • 22. Burhanettin Duran, “Veliaht Selman’ın hamleleri ve Üç Bloklu Ortadoğu,” Sabah, (March 9, 2018). Mohammed bin Salman, who pursued an ambitious regional policy from 2015 on, lost his influence over the Middle East due to the Qatar blockade, his shortcomings in Yemen’s civil war, and, finally, his involvement in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
  • 23. Ulutaş and Duran, “Ortadoğu’da Geleneksel Rekabet mi, Bölgesel Dizayn mı?,” p. 83.
  • 24. Carl Bildt, “Arab Hope Springs Eternal,” Project Syndicate, (December 30 , 2020).
  • 25. See, Joe R. Biden, “Why America Must Lead Again,” Foreign Affairs, (March-April 2020), retrieved from https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2020-01-23/why-america-must-lead-again.
  • 26. Burhanettin Duran, “Üçüncü ABD Müdahalesi ve Körfez’in Geleceği,” Sabah, (September 22, 2020).
  • 27. Sinan Yiter, “Yemen’de ‘Güney Sorunu’ Bayraklara Yansıdı,” Anadolu Ajansı, (October 2, 2013), retrieved from https://www.aa.com.tr/tr/dunya/fransa-icisleri-bakani-darmanin-asiri-sagci-le-peni-yeterikadar- islam-karsiti-olmamakla-sucladi/2143343.
  • 28. Marc Lynch, The New Arab Wars, (New York: Public Affairs, 2016), p. xxi.
  • 29. Megan O’Toole, “Arab Spring 2.0: Five Lessons from 2011 for Today’s Protesters,” Middle East Eye, (December
  • 23, 2020); Georges Fahmi, “Five Lessons from the New Arab Uprisings,” Chatham House, (November 12, 2019), retrieved from https://www.chathamhouse.org/2019/11/five-lessons-new-arab-uprisings, p. 160. Noah Feldman draws three lessons from the popular movements in Sudan and Algeria in the spring of 2019: i) The original Arab revolts still had the power to set an example. ii) Despite tragic failures, it is still possible to engage in political action with the potential to change governments in the Arab-speaking world. iii) The Arab Spring’s alphabet is still within reach for the protestors – and the alphabet of the Arab Winter, for the armed forces.
  • 30. Marc Lynch, “The Arab Uprisings Never Ended,” Foreign Affairs, (January-February 2021), retreived from https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/middle-east/2020-12-08/arab-uprisings-never-ended. Lynch opposes the view that the Arab Uprisings came to an end. Noting that the developments in the Middle East offered little reason to be optimistic, he posited that the Arab Uprisings will take place, sooner or later, and dismantle the regional order –unlike in 2011.
APA DURAN B (2021). A Decade Later: Taking Stock of the Arab Uprisings and Turkey’s Role. , 213 - 234. 10.25253/99.2021232.12
Chicago DURAN Burhanettin A Decade Later: Taking Stock of the Arab Uprisings and Turkey’s Role. (2021): 213 - 234. 10.25253/99.2021232.12
MLA DURAN Burhanettin A Decade Later: Taking Stock of the Arab Uprisings and Turkey’s Role. , 2021, ss.213 - 234. 10.25253/99.2021232.12
AMA DURAN B A Decade Later: Taking Stock of the Arab Uprisings and Turkey’s Role. . 2021; 213 - 234. 10.25253/99.2021232.12
Vancouver DURAN B A Decade Later: Taking Stock of the Arab Uprisings and Turkey’s Role. . 2021; 213 - 234. 10.25253/99.2021232.12
IEEE DURAN B "A Decade Later: Taking Stock of the Arab Uprisings and Turkey’s Role." , ss.213 - 234, 2021. 10.25253/99.2021232.12
ISNAD DURAN, Burhanettin. "A Decade Later: Taking Stock of the Arab Uprisings and Turkey’s Role". (2021), 213-234. https://doi.org/10.25253/99.2021232.12
APA DURAN B (2021). A Decade Later: Taking Stock of the Arab Uprisings and Turkey’s Role. Insight Turkey, 23(02), 213 - 234. 10.25253/99.2021232.12
Chicago DURAN Burhanettin A Decade Later: Taking Stock of the Arab Uprisings and Turkey’s Role. Insight Turkey 23, no.02 (2021): 213 - 234. 10.25253/99.2021232.12
MLA DURAN Burhanettin A Decade Later: Taking Stock of the Arab Uprisings and Turkey’s Role. Insight Turkey, vol.23, no.02, 2021, ss.213 - 234. 10.25253/99.2021232.12
AMA DURAN B A Decade Later: Taking Stock of the Arab Uprisings and Turkey’s Role. Insight Turkey. 2021; 23(02): 213 - 234. 10.25253/99.2021232.12
Vancouver DURAN B A Decade Later: Taking Stock of the Arab Uprisings and Turkey’s Role. Insight Turkey. 2021; 23(02): 213 - 234. 10.25253/99.2021232.12
IEEE DURAN B "A Decade Later: Taking Stock of the Arab Uprisings and Turkey’s Role." Insight Turkey, 23, ss.213 - 234, 2021. 10.25253/99.2021232.12
ISNAD DURAN, Burhanettin. "A Decade Later: Taking Stock of the Arab Uprisings and Turkey’s Role". Insight Turkey 23/02 (2021), 213-234. https://doi.org/10.25253/99.2021232.12