Demokratikleşme Perspektifinden Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi İktidarı
Sevimli, Kemal Can
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Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi - AKP) has been preserving their political rule for over 15 years and this makes AKP is the longest ruling political party in Turkey during multiparty period. During this long ruling period, democracy and democratisation rhetoric maintained a central position in AKP's discourses. However, it has been a matter of debate whether the AKP's democratic rhetoric and its attitude towards democratisation during the ruling period followed a consistent path. The purpose of this work is to evaluate AKP's understanding of democracy and democratisation during the different ruling periods of AKP. In the first chapter of this thesis, the various definitions of authoritarian regimes, democracy, hybrid regimes, democratisation and authoritarianism theories were discussed. The methodologies of the studies which aims to measure the quality of democracy in a country were also summarized in this chapter. The second chapter examined the events of Turkish political life from the declaration of republic until the ruling era of AKP (1923-2002) with a focus on democratisation and authoritarianism movements. In the third chapter, first AKP's party programme, party constitution and the political identity of AKP -conservative democracy- were discussed within the light of democracy understanding. Then the political developments, European Union progress reports, Freedom House and Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI) Turkey reports were examined during the first (2002-2007) and second (2007-2011) ruling periods of AKP. Finally, AKP's understanding of democracy was evaluated in the light of the definitions of democracy and hybrid regimes that mentioned in the first chapter. The fourth chapter of this thesis examined the political developments, European Union progress reports, Freedom House and Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI) Turkey reports during the third (2011-2015) and fourth (2015-2018) ruling periods of AKP. The political actions of the AKP government during these periods were also discussed within the scope of the democracy and hybrid regime definitions.