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Turkey and the Arab Spring: Leadership in the Middle East Paperback – May 8, 2014

4.6 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for A World Without Islam by Graham E. Fuller
 
"Another must-read by one of the most thought-provoking writers on Islam and the Middle East.. At once a brilliant history lesson and a fascinating thought experiment..."
Reza Aslan, author of No God But God.

"...the book is insightful... The hallmark of Fuller's books, Turkey and the Arab Spring included, is a long-term view that eschews the standard U.S.-centric analyses of Turkish politics and foreign policy. That quality is displayed again and shines through an occasionally uneven text. Fuller makes a compelling case that rumors of the Turkish model's death are greatly exaggerated. The skeptics, however, will want to have an obituary drafted."   - Andrew A. Szarejko, Insight Turkey, Vol 16 No 3, Oct 2, 2014

"Despite his years as a Middle East analyst for the CIA, the National Intelligence Council, and the RAND Corporation, Fuller is a fierce critic of U.S. policy in the region. He spreads the blame for the Middle East's woes among Western powers and local actors - especially Saudi Arabia, whose regime he believes will not survive much longer. Fuller's portrait of the present state of the region is at odds with most conventional accounts... [a] sweeping survey. - John Waterbury, Foreign Affairs, Nov/Dec 2014

"A sober reflection on the rapidly changing political landscape of Turkey and a consideration of the nation's role in the tumult of the Arab Spring. Fuller (A World Without Islam, 2010, etc.) has written extensively on the Middle East in general and Turkey in particular. His latest volume offers a searching, vigorous reappraisal of Turkey's modern secularization and democratization... [he] delivers an exacting, original examination... [It is] an astute accounting of the political future of the Arab world, using Turkey as a bellwether." - Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Graham E. Fuller is a former high-ranking CIA official who spent over four decades living, working, traveling in and writing about the Muslim world. He speaks numerous languages—Russian, Turkish, Arabic and Chinese—and is widely recognized as an insightful, provocative and original thinker on the political culture of the Muslim world and global politics. This clear and lucid analysis of a complex and troubled region offers unconventional conclusions.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Bozorg Press (May 8, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0993751407
  • ISBN-13: 978-0993751400
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #709,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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The book re-evaluates our assumptions in Middle East and makes assessments about the future in the region based on fundamentals, rather than political waves. It helps me better understand recent developments in Middle East and Turkey. I'm glad I purchased it.
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Graham Fuller has written a first-rate account not only of Turkey's role in the Middle East, but more saliently, of the sweeping changes occurring in the Middle East following the Arab Spring. While Fuller's deep expertise in the region - as a diplomat and scholar - shows throughout, I found his historical and cultural perspective to be nuanced, fresh, and thoughtful, and free of the typical Western biases surrounding much work rebasing the Middle East. His book also posits that the Middle East has begun to embrace modernity - it cannot help but do so - and that the interaction of modernity and Islam will be written over the next decade or so, in ways that remain hard to predict. I highly recommend this excellent book as an addition to the many classics regarding the Middle East by scholars such as Lewis and others.
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Although there is not much spring left in the 'Arab Spring', this book is even more relevant now as it puts Turkey's position and development into context within the turmoil gripping much of what was once the Ottoman Empire's backyard, and which is now too close for comfort even to Turkey itself.

From the time of his stationing in Turkey as a CIA operative, the author has retained and continued to cultivate a deep understanding of that important country straddling both Europe and Asia. Readers will therefore learn a lot about the history of modern Turkey, the blueprint of secularism imprinted by Kemal Ataturk, the country's institutions, the once dominant role of the military, the rise of the AKP party and its reforms to realize the potential of the Turkish economy, its shake up of the increasingly sclerotic Kemalist state, its geopolitical ambitions. Fuller lets us in on the concerns and aspirations of a Turkey beyond just the elites living in Istanbul or Ankara, he informs us about the Gulen movement and its impact. He paints a many-faceted picture and presents his Turkey, where Islamic traditions can coexist with democracy and modernity, as a model for others. In doing so, he does, however, not shy away from also discussing the flipside of concentrated power at the top of the ruling party and its potential for an uncertain Turkish future through a new kind of authoritarianism.

So, following the above comments, why not at least 4 stars? Chiefly, because during the build-up in the first half of the book to Turkey's present geopolitical position, I detect a marked bias toward the widespread narrative accepted in that part of the world that, whatever ails the Middle East today is predominantly the result of Western colonialism.
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The author worked and lived in the Middle East for quite a long time. He knows most of the languages spoken in the region. Analysis the Arab Spring and recent developments in the region in general. The author is not arrogant, overlooking or hasty in his comments, displays a genuine interest analyzing the rapid changes taken place in the region and predicting future developments.
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Format: Paperback
Very impressed with Author viewpoint,

I certainly recommend for anyone interested on Middle East

it is well worth to read
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Mr Fuller is providing objective and out of the box review. I like that.
This is a worthwhile book, and I would highly recommend it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Mr Fuller posits serious questions as he covers the so-called Arab Spring and Turkey's potential leadership role. Mr Fuller's credentials are serious credit to his ability to tackle this subject. Whether you agree with Fuller 's conclusions, his facts are extremely well-researched and he demonstrates a sensitivity and open mind still too rare in the current debate over Islam and its place in a progressive, secular world.

RHJ Ruiters, author of Between Ummah and Pasha, The Role of the Armed Forces in Turkey's Geostrategic Future
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i'm turkish, and read this book during the summer. simplistic use of language. tells the story in a reasonably good way. try to avoid of western oriental perspective on the east, but sometimes cannot avoid it. give the insights for key terms properly when needed. only drawback, tells a little to much about the early ottoman period, and goes back and forth through centuries occasionally even it is not really necessary.
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