IPI HomeEventsSpeakers EventsStephen Kinzer: Turkey, Iran “Good Soul Mates” for US

 

print print  |  share share back back

Speaker Events - Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Stephen Kinzer: Turkey, Iran “Good Soul Mates” for US

Stephen Kinzer, former New York Times foreign correspondent and author of numerous books that challenge convention, has written in Reset: Iran, Turkey and America’s Future that Turkey and Iran are the only countries in the Muslim Middle East with experience in trying to become democracies.



“From their long struggle,” Mr. Kinzer writes in the book, “both peoples have developed an understanding of democracy and a longing for it that makes them good soul mates for Americans.”



At a recent event at IPI, Mr. Kinzer said that Iran and Turkey possess the two qualities that the US needs in a strategic partner: societies that are similar, and long-term strategic goals that are parallel.



“One of the problems we’ve gotten into in many parts of the world is that we’ve built alliances and relationships that are just between governments, that are just between elites, that are just between ruling classes," he told the audience at the September 25th event. "Ordinary people feel no connection to those relationships, and they are not durable.”



Of Iran and Turkey, he said, “Those are countries where people understand what is a parliament, what is an election, how do you decide whom to vote for.”



Mr. Kinzer, who visited Iran recently, said he is always impressed by the “pro-American tenor of society there.”



“Iran has the potential to vault over Turkey and become the most democratic society in the whole Muslim world,” he said.

 Read transcript

The Global Observatory

For More Effective Sanctions, Time to Examine Question of Termination
The termination process is not often examined when creating sanctions, but it is key to their effectiveness.

Key Global Events to Watch in April
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

April 05, 2014
IPI Opens Middle East Regional Office
International Peace Institute President Terje Rød-Larsen inaugurated IPI’s new Middle East Regional Office with a recognition of the area’s critical importance to the world and the rapid political changes underway in the countries of the region, and he asserted that IPI has an “important role” to play there.

April 03, 2014
In Horn of Africa, Links Between Disaster, Conflict, and Displacement
What are the links between climate change, conflict, and the displacement of people? A panel of experts discussed this nexus and its implications in the Horn of Africa at the International Peace Institute on April 3rd in an event cosponsored by the Nansen Initiative.

March 26, 2014
Derek Plumbly on Lebanese Resilience Amid Rising Challenges
Lebanon has exceeded expectations in dealing with the continuing fallout from the crisis in neighboring Syria, said Derek Plumbly, United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon, on March 26th. Speaking at the International Peace Institute, Mr. Plumbly praised the Lebanese people for “actually sustaining a measure of stability in their country.”

View More