MESOP Arguments & Analysis / A VERY GOOD QUESTION !

“Can Turkey salvage its soft power image ahead of the World Humanitarian Summit” (Kemal Kirisci, Order from Chaos) – BROOKINGS

“When the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced at the 68th session of the General Assembly in 2013 that Turkey would host the first-ever world humanitarian summit, Turkey’s soft power was standing tall. Its economy was growing a respectable 4.2 percent rate in 2013 — when the United States was still battling with the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and the EU was mired in a currency crisis. That year, Turkish exports reached unprecedented heights (including cultural exports: Turkish soap operas were popular in as faraway lands as Brazil).

Turkey was still receiving a record number of tourists, despite the civil war raging next door in Syria. And, as Ban Ki-moon noted, Turkey was rising as a major donor country and was playing a critical role in providing humanitarian assistance in Syria (as well as in Haiti, the Philippines, and elsewhere). Its open-door policy towards Syrian refugees received high praise. And Turkey ranked 20th in Monocle’s first-ever Soft Power Index. Now the international community is gearing up to gather in Istanbul for the World Humanitarian Summit on May 22 to 24, and the picture is strikingly different.” Read all*Mideast%20Brief