Social media has been a boon for democratization forces around the world, most notably in the Middle East and North Africa. But a recent tragedy in Turkey helps highlights the fact that social media also has a potentially dark side for democratization efforts.
Almost a week after the conclusion of a trial concerning the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, the verdict continues to reverberate in Turkey. It is shaking the faith of minority groups that they can get a fair hearing in the country’s courts and is raising questions among rights activists about the judiciary’s independence.
The mistaken, late December Turkish airstrike that left 35 Kurdish civilians dead highlights an apparent shift in US policy toward Ankara. The change could end up undermining efforts to promote democratization in the Middle East and North Africa.
With the opening of Turkey’s parliament on October 1 and the start of work on replacing the country’s constitution, members of the country’s religious minority groups are hoping that years of institutional and legal discrimination will come to an end in the not-too-distant future.
A fatal blast in Ankara and increasing violence in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast are overshadowing the country’s long-awaited constitutional reform process. The recent troubles will hamper efforts to broaden the rights of the country’s Kurdish minority.
No one quite knows how Syrian dissident Hussein Harmoush went from the safety of a Turkish refugee camp into the clutches of the regime he thought he had escaped. But his case has his fellow political exiles nervous.
Turkish government leaders have made reducing the military’s role in politics one of their top domestic priorities. But there is one area where the politicians appear reluctant to confront the generals – providing draft exemptions for conscientious objectors.