On Sunday, Turkish voters went to the polls and handed the ruling AKP (Justice and Development Party) a resounding victory, restoring to it the majority it briefly let slip in the elections of this past June. In doing so, Turkey’s voters have taken their country in a direction that would have been unthinkable in the decades following the rule (1923–38) of the secular, Western-oriented Mustafa Ataturk and have taken Turkey one step closer towards becoming an authoritarian Sunni Islamist theocracy. Indeed, the AKP victory prompted Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to tweet“Elhamdulillah” (Thanks be to God).
According to arms control expert Rachel Stohl of the Stimson Center in Washington, the 2014 guidelines are mostly unchanged from the previous set, last updated under the Clinton administration in 1995, but for two new provisions. The first requires the administration to assess “the risk that a significant change in the political or security situation of the recipient country could lead to inappropriate end-use or transfer of defense articles.” The second, according to Stohl, is that the United States must consider “the likelihood that the recipient would use the arms to commit human rights abuses or serious violations of international humanitarian law, retransfer the arms to those who would commit human rights abuses or serious violations of international humanitarian law, or identify the United States with human rights abuses or serious violations of international humanitarian law.”
To read more, click here.