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dc.contributor.advisorHarris, William
dc.contributor.authorBaycar Aydogan, Nilay
dc.identifier.citationBaycar Aydogan, N. (2017). Democratisation Progress in Turkey Under the Justice and Development Party 2002 to 2014 (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractThis thesis examines the democratisation progress of Turkey during the period 2002 to 2014, a period in which the Justice and Development Party (the ‘JDP’) held continuous national office, in order to answer its central research question: How and to what extent has the JDP contributed to democratisation in Turkey? The JDP case illustrates the complexity of applying the democratisation concept in real human affairs. Since its foundation in 1923, the Republic of Turkey has seen democratisation as a necessary adjunct of a modernisation that the founders of the republic considered vital to maintain the Turkish nation and the republic’s territorial integrity after the Ottoman collapse. The new republic by its nature is secular albeit a superstructure to an Islamic foundation centuries old that remains vibrant. Since its inception, Turkey’s democratic journey has suffered set-backs due to tensions between the secular state and domestic political Islam. The Turkish state through its constitutional framework and its historic military tutelage has attempted to hold down political Islam. Around 2000, the Turkish state and domestic political Islam were in stalemate; the latter was contained but persistent. The JDP emerged out of political parties some of which had previously been Islamic in nature. The new party’s leaders publicly rejected its political roots and pledged to enhance Turkey’s democratic journey as a new way of resolving those tensions. What I have been looking for in my research are quantum advances in Turkey’s democratisation momentum under the JDP, advances not only insulating Turkey from recidivism but confirming the JDP’s democratisation credentials. I have used ‘liberal democracy’ as my yardstick to identify and assess these advances. Domestic events in Turkey in 2013 and 2014 sorely tested the latter. During my research, I have used the qualitative research method and operated on the societal/national level of analysis. I worked with academic books and articles, and researched primary documents. I also interviewed political actors, academics and journalists. My findings were mixed in terms of the JDP’s enhancements to Turkey’s democratisation, reflecting a challenging environment for the JDP after 2012, when electoral hubris and domestic events stymied the party’s democratisation momentum. However, I argue that key building blocks to secure a sustainable democratisation process were put in place by the JDP in its early years in office. Further, the party has flourished electorally since 2002, a testament to its skill at managing tensions. I have concluded that the JDP, notwithstanding challenges to its democratic credentials, has made significant contributions to democratic progress in Turkey by locking in fundamental reforms that will embed democratisation in Turkey.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectthe JDP
dc.subjectPolitical Islam
dc.subjectHidden Agenda
dc.titleDemocratisation Progress in Turkey Under the Justice and Development Party 2002 to 2014
dc.language.rfc3066en of Philosophy of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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