2053mockebapaper - Contemporary Issues of Turkey and North...

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Contemporary Issues of Turkey and North Korea The politics of Turkey and North Korea have both undergone a great deal of change during the course of our fall term. Turkey is a secular parliamentary representative democratic republic with a president and prime minister. In practice, North Korea is a one party system and under practically authoritarian rule. The BBC has said that North Korea is one of the most restricting governments in the world with the most limited amount of human rights in the world, and that, “The totalitarian regime in North Korea keeps its people in a state of ignorance through tight control of the media.” 1 Since the summer, North Korea has had a great deal to contend with besides the constant threat of economic sanctions led by the US and the other western powers. From sinking a South Korea vessel to anointing a successor in an instance of rare dynastic succession in a communist regime, North Korea’s politics are more hectic than ever. Both countries are an interesting study for a student comparative politics. They share uniqueness in regard to their location in the world and their politics, and both have experienced events recently that may alter their place on the world scene. Turkey is a rare Middle Eastern country with Western aspirations. The cornerstone of Turkish government has been secularism and modernization, two rare principles in the Arab world. In May, Turkish-Israeli relations endured one of their toughest impasses yet when the Israeli military raided a flotilla, killing nine Turkish activists aboard. 2 This is a major event in international relations since Turkey has been one of the few Arabic countries to conduct meaningful relations with Israel even to the extent of military cooperation. The deaths of the activists have outraged the Turkish government. Turkey has refused to allow Israeli airplanes to enter Turkish airspace unless the Israelis issue an apology. 3 This shows the significance of military action on a nation’s politics. In the study of conflict, the use of force is often misrepresented an over exaggerated; however, this scenario depicts the consequences for using 1
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Contemporary Issues of Turkey and North Korea force and the ensuing controversy. Turkey has also used force to attempt to resolve problems within its own borders. The New York Times reported in June that “Kurdish rebels fighting for autonomy in southeast Turkey attacked a military post in a far eastern town on Saturday, killing 8 soldiers and wounding at least 14.” 4 Turkey has long had problems with the 12 million Kurdish people that make up their population. Ethnic disputes are a common trait for developing countries, and the recent military crackdowns on the Kurdish people show that Turkey still must make progress to fully join the industrialized nations. Their government has balanced diplomacy with military action in an effort to lessen tensions with the Kurdish. In July of 2010, Dan Bilefsky of
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2053mockebapaper - Contemporary Issues of Turkey and North...

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