Turkey - The New Ottomans

Episodes

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01The Akp And The Republic20130730

Allan Little charts the re-emergence of Turkey as a powerful global force.

In a three part series Allan Little charts the re-emergence of Turkey as a powerful global force.

Until very recently Turkey's story seemed an entirely positive one. Two decades of sustained economic growth continued to transform the country. The ruling AKP government had, at last, seemingly achieved a balance long sought by a large proportion of the Turkish population: the synthesis between modernity and traditional values respecting Islam.

The initially reforming AKP leadership addressed the complaints of minorities and those who felt excluded in the secular Republic. It successfully removed the army from political life. When negotiations to join the European Union stalled in 2005, it sought to invigorate co-operation and trade with neighbouring countries in the Balkans, North Africa and the Middle East.

Then an environmental protest in Istanbul's Gezi Park turned into nationwide demonstrations against a government that many found increasingly autocratic, constantly justifying its actions by the ballot box, claiming that its fifty per cent majority gave its policies a democratic mandate. Allan Little analyses the rise of the AKP and the Republican tradition they so successfully challenged.

Producer: Jane Beresford.

02North Africa And The Middle East20130806

Allan Little analyses how the AKP government sought to re-engage with its Arab neighbours.

Allan Little charts the re-emergence of Turkey as a powerful global force

In the second programme of the series Allan delves further into the emerging international influence of Turkey, looking across North Africa and the Middle East.

The AKP promoted itself as a model of how a party which has roots in political Islam could govern a democracy and create a dynamic economy. The turmoil of the Arab Spring, the fallout from the Taksim Square demonstrations and, most recently, the ousting of Egypt's Islamist government have now challenged what many saw as an optimistic vision.

In recent years Turkey had turned away from ever closer alliances with Israel and the United States towards greater involvement with its Arab neighbours, something that has been greeted with suspicion as well as enthusiasm linked to the legacy of Turkey's Ottoman past. How will this new policy develop in a fast-changing region?

Producer: Jane Beresford.

03 LASTTurkey And Europe20130813

Allan Little analyses Turkey's history in the Balkans and its relationship with the EU.

Allan Little explores Turkey's relationship with Europe, focussing on the Balkans, once the Western limits of the old Ottoman Empire.

Turkish businessmen have been rapidly reforging links with the Balkan states - and some saw this as a first step towards rebuilding bridges to Western Europe.

The dream of eventual EU membership was a powerful influence on the early years of the Prime Minister Erdogan's AK Party. However, opposition from France and more recently Germany has made that dream seem unlikely to happen for a generation.

Where does Turkey's relationship with the Europe now stand?

Producer: Jane Beresford.