Turkey, which over the last year could hardly be described as an incubator for civil liberties, has this past year been engulfed in political chaos. It’s reputation which it has tried hard to put forward as a secular, moderate gateway to the east from Europe, and a viable member of the EU, is almost completely in tatters. It currently holds the unpleasant title as the country with the most imprisoned journalists on the planet, it is ranked 154th in the press freedom index, and it has what can only be described as a selective historical memory when it comes to Armenians. This nation has over the past year been involved in what can only be described as a governmental crisis. This crisis, which stems from a corruption probe which has sunk its teeth into the heart of governmental power and authority has threatened various power brokers nation wide. This is an on-going and real tale of political intrigue within one of NATO’s most valued countries; including foreign backers, shoeboxes full of dollars and the constitutional limits of power which keep a leader in check.
With Time Magazine naming their person of 2011 “The Protester” we are doing a series of articles examining the countries most affected by the ‘Arab Spring’, detailing the major events of these protests, revolutions and reformations as well as looking at the aftermath of these events. T.
The nation of Tunisia with the population of 10.6millionpeople was run from the capital Tunis by its long stay leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. He was seen as the west to be an ally and a friend. Condoleezza Rice paid him an official visit in 2008 and had also been to the White House to visit President George W Bush, as well as having close links to the French president Nicolas Sarcozy.