The Arab Spring Is Not Over Yet

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Added On: 11 June 2021, Friday, 14:23
Last Edited On: 11 June 2021, Friday, 14:23

The Arab Spring Is Not Over Yet

The “Arab Spring”, which affected the Middle East, was discussed in its 10th year at the panel held by the Near East University authorities in terms of its various dimensions.

Near East University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of Political Sciences, held an online panel titled “Arab Uprisings in their 10th year: Actors, Prospects and New Quests”.

Near East University Political Science Department Head Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nur Köprülü, one of the faculty members of the Middle East Technical University International Relations Department, Prof. Dr. Meliha Benli Altunışık and Prof. Dr. Özlem Tür took place as speakers at the panel. On the one hand, the new balance of power and blocs that have emerged in the Middle East in the last 10 years were discussed, and on the other hand the impact of the ongoing Syrian civil war in the region and Lebanon was discussed at the panel. In addition, the US foreign policy towards the Middle East and the new US President Joe Biden’s term and how this policy will evolve were also evaluated.

Near East University Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences Dean Prof. Dr. Şerife Eyüpoğlu pointed out the importance of organizing such activities that will support the theoretical and historical backgrounds of the students in the lessons and said that they will organize new seminars in the future.

The Arab Spring Is Not Over Yet

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nur Köprülü: “The Arab Spring is not over yet”
Near East University Head of Political Sciences Department Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nur Köprülü stated that the public protests, which started in Tunisia for the first time in December 2010, spread to almost the entire Arab world in a very short time and had a wide impact in the region, including Egypt, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Jordan and Morocco. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Köprülü also said that in the light of public opinion polls, the demands for democratization in the region are still alive and the Arab Spring is not over yet

Prof. Dr. Meliha Benli Altunışık: “Regional powers see the Arab Spring as an opportunity to expand their sphere of influence”
Middle East Technical University, Department of International Relations faculty member Prof. Dr. Meliha Benli Altunışık pointed out in her presentation that the uprisings that started in individual countries against increasing economic problems and authoritarian regimes became regionalized within a short time. Prof. Dr. Altunışık said, “While the regional powers saw the Arab Spring as an opportunity to expand their sphere of influence, they also tried to prevent other regional powers from expanding their spheres.” Prof. Dr. Altunışık emphasized that this situation fueled regional competition and shaped the developments that took place in the last 10 years.

Prof. Dr. Özlem Tür: “There was no winner in the war”
Middle East Technical University faculty member Prof. Dr. Özlem Tür focused on the examples of Syria and Lebanon in the light of the regional developments in her presentation. Prof. Dr. Tür said that “the uprisings that first started with peaceful demonstrations in Syria turned into a civil war and a proxy war within a short time.” Expressing that the war in Syria gained a different dimension with the involvement of Russia in 2015, Prof. Dr. Tür emphasized that in today’s conjuncture, there is no winner in the war. Pointing out that the war in Syria is not only limited to Syria, Prof. Dr. Tür also emphasized that Russia, Iran and Hezbollah have created new strategies to increase their influence in the region.