Authoritarianism and strong men in power: Interview with Gilbert Achcar

Gilbert Achcar, Professor of Development Studies and International Relations, at SOAS, University of London, speaks to Medyascope.Tv‘s Işın Eliçin on Donald Trump’s election, on the global rise of far-right, on the latest developments in Turkey and its aspirations to become a big brother for the region and its people, on Kurds, on Syria & Egypt and on the prospects for a brighter future for the region. This interview also aims to serve as an introduction to his latest book, “Morbid Symptoms: Relapse In the Arab Uprising”

Important headlines from the interview:

The victory of Donald Trump is part of a global trend: the rise of far-right. This trend feeds into a tendency towards emergence of authoritarianism, strong men in power.
Trump is unpredictable that’s his main characteristic.
President Erdogan shifted from a reformist base into reverting what he himself has done; he’s dismantling the kind of system he has done and getting into a kind of dictatorship based on one political party.
A lot of people on the left believed that Obama was behind Syrian opposition, behind Turkey, behind overthrowing of the regime in Syria.  But his Syrian policy was definetely not pro regime change.
Turkey has not been raising its voice against the bombing of East Aleppo.. The main obsession of AKP government is not Bashar Assad. It is the Kurdish forces in Syria.

I think Trump will be no friends of the Kurds. I expect him to stop the involvement of US troops with YPG.
The upcoming US government’s alliance with the Syrian regime and Russia would be catastrophic because the implication in the long term will be more and more violence, more and more radicalisation, more and more sectarian resentment…
The prospects of Turkish leadership in the region is a closed chapter.
What is need in the region is a coalition type of forces, which are pluralistic, democratic, feminist, seeking social and democratic justice and representing a real alternative to both the old regimes and their islamic fundamentalist contenders. These are the values that can counter the clash of barbarisms that is taking over the region.