05 March 2012

Arab Spring Catching Rays from Turkish Summer

I read this morning that a new party has just been formed by the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood. It is called Justice and Development Party: 

As you might know, this is the name of the ruling AKP party in Turkey, the originator of the so-called Turkish model and the Libyan party is now the fourth political party to share the name and the platform of AKP in the region:
The party will be the fourth in the region having both a name and a platform similar to Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). 
In Egypt, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, known as the Justice and Freedom Party (JFP), whose party platform largely copies the AKP’s, has won about half the seats in parliamentary elections and dominated the upper house elections.

In Morocco, the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD), also modeling itself on the AKP, won the parliamentary election last November. The party’s leader and Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane has been likened to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, because their political parties have the same name, their emblems are very similar – Erdoğan’s party uses a light bulb, while the PJD uses a gas lamp – and both claim to favor moderate Islam. 
In Tunisia as well, Rached Ghannouchi, chairman of the moderate Islamist Ennahda Party, which took most of the votes in the country’s first free elections after the ouster of veteran President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, claims to take its inspiration from the AKP. 
In and of itself this is not very noteworthy, as the motivation to imitate a successful arrangement is perfectly understandable, especially in places where the military plays an important role.

It will be a lot more interesting to see whether Muslim Brotherhood and similar organizations will follow the brand of Islam emanating from the Turkish model.

I think it will be important to keep an eye on the Gulen movement.

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