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By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Justice And Development Party
In a landmark trial, scores of people — including Turkey's former military chief, politicians and journalists — were convicted on Monday of plotting to overthrow Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government soon after it came to power in 2002.
Police in Turkey on Friday fired tear gas and shot water cannons at demonstrators who took over a park in Istanbul to decry the construction of a shopping mall.
Turkey's Islamist prime minister, barred from seeking a fourth term, is exploring ways to create a strongman presidency and run for the powerful new office next year, but critics fear his political engineering could undermine the country's secular democratic tradition.
International sanctions could trigger a popular uprising in Iran similar to last year's revolution in Egypt that toppled President Hosni Mubarak, Israel's foreign minister said in statements published Sunday.
Turkey's regional status as a democratic role model is being threatened by the Muslim country's 30-year conflict with Kurds, which now is pushing Turkey toward violent upheaval.
Soon after an Islamist opposition leader became Morocco's prime minister as the result of landmark elections, his archrival was named a top adviser to the king.
The Arab Spring set in with the hope that a huge democratic change finally was within reach for the region. Now, 12 months later, that initial euphoria largely has subsided.
Long-oppressed Arabs may be supporting Islamist political parties, but that does not mean the United States needs to fear a new rash of governments imposing strict Islamic law, according to some analysts who reviewed voting patterns after the Arab Spring uprisings.
The victory of an Islamist Party in Morocco's parliamentary elections on Friday appears to be one more sign that religious-based parties are benefiting the most from the new freedoms brought by the Arab Spring.
Turkey's ruling party won a third term in parliamentary elections Sunday, setting the stage for the rising regional power to pursue trademark economic growth, assertive diplomacy and an overhaul of the military-era constitution.
A donors conference seeking $1.1 billion to clean up the Chernobyl disaster site fell well short of its goal Tuesday, but officials remained optimistic that money will be found to make the world's worst nuclear accident site environmentally safe.
Turkey's evolving responses to the war in Libya are just the latest indication of its goal to be a power broker on the world stage — one that balances its alliances to Mideast leaders such as Col. Gadhafi with calls for them to reform in the face of street revolts.
U.S. diplomats are still wrestling with the question of whether Turkey's ruling party is part of a fundamentalist Muslim movement bent on imposing brutal Islamic law on a country founded on democratic secular principles.
Foreign visitors in Washington this week include Catherine Ashton, the European Union's representative for foreign affairs and security policy and vice president of the European Commission.
The recent article, “Israel could lose a major Muslim ally” (Geopolitics, Monday) inaccurately describes Turkey’s falling-out with the West as a rift between Turkey and Israel which developed “over a recent raid on a flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip.”