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After the protests that raged across the Arab world two years ago, it was easy to call it a “Turkish Spring”— a demand for democracy in one more Middle Eastern country. Nothing could be further from the truth. It was directed not against an aging autocrat but a Prime Minister who had won three successive elections, a feat achieved by no other Turkish leader.
Mr. Erdogan has also done more to move toward a resolution of the long-simmering Kurdish problem than any other government. In foreign policy, he has adopted new initiatives toward Iran and was a prominent supporter of the demonstrators against dictators in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya during the Arab Spring.
More than anything else, the levels of activism, the wide ranging groups it has mobilised and its creative forms demonstrate the maturation of Turkey’s democracy and give hope for the future.