Ataturk established secular turkish republic 1923 o

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Ataturk established secular Turkish Republic (1923)oIslamist parties subject to both political barriers and periodic disbandmentoJustice and Development Party (AKP) established in 2001, following disbandment of Welfare Party (1998) and Virtue Party (2001)Relative economic issues, pro-businessFavours EU membershipoAKP electoral success2002: wins 34% of votes, 363 of 550 seats2007: wins 47% of votes, 341 of 550 seats2011: wins 50% of votes, 327 of 550 seats2014 (presidential): Erdogan wins 51.8%2015: wins 41% (June), then 41% (November), regaining parliamentary majorityoAuthoritarian tendenciesPlot trialsIntimidation of journalistsConflict between AKP and Gulen governmentConflict between AKP and KurdsIn the past, Kurds alienated by Ataturk’s Turkish nationalismEventually, this eased and many urban Kurds vote for AKPHowever, Erdogan has taken a hard line against them2013 Taksim Gezi Park demonstrationsAbout urban development
Government was very angry with the activists2016 coup attemptFollowed by large-scale purgesHundreds of thousands of state officials, bureaucrats, military officials removed from office2017 constitutional referendumStrengthens presidential poweroIslamist or just simply authoritarian?Some evidence that some members of the AKP believe that Erdogan has gone too farHowever, Erdogan’s power within his party and his control over the country is unchallengedIslam and democracy?oUndemocraticSovereignty of GodFixity of shariaTreatment of minoritiesStatus of women“Look at Saudi Arabia, ISIS, Taliban”oDemocraticPrinciple of shura (consultation)Importance of equality, social justiceProtection of the “peoples of the book”“Look at Ennahda”oOr, does doctrine even matter (much)?Electoral PoliticsElectoral authoritarianismoAll pre-Arab Spring authoritarian republics, and many monarchies, had some form of electionsThese were designed to NOT pose a serious challenge to the ruling elitePolitical liberalization in the 1990s somewhat opened space for political participation, but did not mark meaningful democratizationoRole of elections and parties in authoritarian systemsElections as legitimationPublic spectacle of regime powerElections as “pressure valves” (especially in response to economic crisis)Parties as governing coalitionsParties + elections as a patronage distribution and monitoring mechanism“Elected” cabinets and parliaments as scapegoatsInternational pressure
oElections were controlled through a variety of meansLegal restrictions on opposition (party registration, etc…)Government patronage/resources to ruling partyState media coverage, censorshipLegal harassmentElectoral system designVoter suppressionFraudoRepublics tended to favor dominant-party outcomesoMonarchies tended to favor fragmented-parliament outcomesoIn addition to manipulating electoral system, the powers of elected representativeswere limitedMixed parliaments with appointed

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