Answer by M. Lawrence Key:
In my opinion, it's one of the most successful countries in the Middle East, and here's why:
- it does not rely solely on massive oil money for its survival and economy.
- it has a rich history and culture.
- its people are self-reliant and self-made. They work hard and don't mind laboring in ways that other Middle Easterners would consider beneath them.
- They have a government and governing system that largely values separation of religion and state.
- They produce their own goods and export them throughout the Middle East.
- They strive to maintain peace with their neighbors.
Of course, they are not perfect, and I'm not suggesting that. I'm well aware of human rights violations in their recent past and even tragedies such as the Armenian massacres during the 1920s. However, if we look at the whole picture, I would say that Turkey is indeed a powerful country, by the standard of its military, but also by the standard of its economy and its influence on its neighbors.