While its neighbours stumble, the country that is a role model for Islamic democracy could become a victim of overconfidence
By Patrick Cockburn
"Are the Turks seeing the Ottoman Empire reborn or are they going to be the next victims of economic chaos in Europe and political turmoil in the Middle East? Is Turkey about to pay a price for the overconfidence bred by a decade that brought it triumphant success while its neighbours suffered decline or disaster?
The mood is buoyant. Turkey's successes are recent and quite real. In a country used to covert or open military tutelage since its foundation, a democratically elected government is at last dominant; its economy has surged spectacularly, making it the 15th largest economic power in the world; it is lauded worldwide as a moderate Islamic state which ought to be the role model for Arab Spring countries.
Turkish optimism has ominous parallels with the self-regarding opinions once heard in Ireland and Greece. As with Turkey, both these countries had histories of poverty and emigration which made them psychologically receptive to the self-deceiving idea that they had at last attained the prosperity so long and so unfairly denied them. Excessive belief in their own booms produced disastrous economic bubbles.
Will Turkey be similarly damaged by myths about its own recent success? Some experts there fear so...."