When President Barack Obama portrayed prospering Turkey, ruled by sweet Islamists, as “a great Islamic democracy” in 2010, he was probably hoping that this strange democracy that comes with a religious prefix would serve a useful purpose: a glittering role model for the Arab countries that lagged behind even an Islamic democracy. Mr. Obama’s mission impossible has failed – probably – for good.
The Arab Spring did not blossom (or fade) because of Turkey’s Islamic democracy. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s short-lived popularity on the Arab Street was not because Arabs envied Turkey’s Islamic democracy; but because they embraced his love affair with Hamas and accompanying hatred of Israel. None of which has sufficed to keep the Turkish model afloat.