In both Turkey and China, the political and normative value given to economic development and transformation is greater than, and takes priority over, democracy

Nihat Berker, the president of Sabancı University, does great service to community by hosting engaging book discussions on campus.  These remarkable gatherings offer a gateway to students, faculty members and employees into the world of notable books on current affairs.  The vision-based books that expand horizons in understanding Turkey and the world are chosen, read, and sometimes the author of the book is invited for a discussion.  This time, we read Martin Jacques’ When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order (Penguin, 2009).  As I read this book, whose expanded second edition will be in print soon, I could not help but notice the striking similarities between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) experience in Turkey and that of the Chinese regime.  In this respect, I believe there is benefit to be gained by reading the present and the future of Turkey from the Chinese perspective as much as with European and American references, and that this reading is best done by the left and social democracy, which have been the main themes of my articles lately.

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