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Intercultural Dialogue and Democratisation in the Mediterranean: Turkey as a Facilitator

C. Intercultural Dialogue and EU-Mediterranean Partnership (Malta Team)

Çigdem Nas (2007)

Contenuto in:

Intercultural Dialogue and Citizenship

Tipologia pubblicazione

: Articolo / Saggio


: 423-438


: EN


The Mediterranean region displays diversity with respect to social, political and cultural systems. This assertion is valid for the case of democratisation. While established democracies may be observed to the North, countries to the South struggle with democratic transitions which are not always straightforward and successful. Sustainable democracy should be based on a consensus between different societal groups on the merits of the regime, the regime’s ability to deliver public services and goods, and the internalisation of democratic values by a majority of the citizenry. Intercultural dialogue in the region may support and aid the dispersal of democratic values through a process of exchange, communication and learning. A country like Turkey that stands in the fault line between cultures shares cultural, social and political affinities with countries in the region. While it shares a common religion and cultural similarities with the countries to the South and East, it has engaged in a quite successful process of democratisation. Its relations with Europe and candidacy to the EU had a significant impact on the reform process in Turkey and helped the dispersion of democratic norms and understandings in the country. In this context the experiences of Turkey can have a valuable influence on facilitating dialogue between the diverse cultures of the region. Turkey can act as a role model and transmitter of values that may have an impact on the spread of democracy and foster processes of democratic transition. The Turkish experience may provide invaluable insights for Mediterranean countries into how to deal with such hurdles and shape their trajectories of democratic transition.

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