The Transition from Democracy to Autocratic Rule
Keywords:Transition, Democracy, Autocratic Rule, Turkey
It is difficult to talk about real democracy in our history of the democratic system except for the first periods of the Democratic Party (DP) between 1950 and 1954. A few years after the 1960 Constitution was implemented and the first periods of Turgut Özal (Motherland Party -ANAP) between 1984 and 1989, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) period after 2002 until 2010.
Turkey has been controlled by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) since 2002. After some reforms initially, the AKP government showed growing contempt for political rights and civil liberties. Following an attempted coup in 2016, the country’s authoritarian nature was established entirely, prompting a harsh crackdown on perceived leadership opponents. In 2017, constitutional amendments concentrated power in the hands of the President.
As a result of the negativities experienced and the changes in the system, according to the 2021 Freedom House report, Turkey’s new category is “not freedom.”
While President exerts tremendous power in Turkish politics, hopefully, opposition victories in the 2019 municipal elections demonstrated that presidential authority was not unlimited.
There were several steps in Turkey’s transition from democracy to autocratic rule. These stages should be well understood and analyzed in the countries where democracies declined, and necessary precautions should be taken.
Ümit Akçay (2021) Authoritarian consolidation dynamics in Turkey, Contemporary Politics, 27:1, 79-104, https://doi.org/10.1080/13569775.2020.1845920 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13569775.2020.1845920
Bilge Azgın (2020) The progression and consolidation of erdoğanist authoritarianism in the New Turkey, Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, 20:2, 371-377, https://doi.org/10.1080/14683857.2020.1764277 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14683857.2020.1764277
Antonino Castaldo (2018) Populism and competitive authoritarianism in Turkey, Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, 18:4, 467-487, https://doi.org/10.1080/14683857.2018.1550948 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14683857.2018.1550948
Coşkun, G.B. Media capture strategies in new authoritarian states: the case of Turkey. Publizistik 65, 637–654 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11616-020-00600-9 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11616-020-00600-9
Fukuyama, F. (2008). Poverty, Inequality, and Democracy: The Latin American Experience. Journal of Democracy 19(4), 69-79. https://doi.org/10.1353/jod.0.0035 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/jod.0.0035
Funke M, Schularck M, Trebesch C (2016). Going to extremes: Politics after financial crises, Eur Econ Rev 88;227-260. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.euroecorev.2016.03.006 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.euroecorev.2016.03.006
Heper, M., Kazancigil, A., & Rockman, B.A. (Eds.). (1997). Institutions and Democratic Statecraft (1st ed.). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429499777 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429499777
Heper, M., & Landau, J.M. (Eds.). (1991). Political Parties and Democracy in Turkey (1st ed.). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315628516 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315628516
Kroll C, Zipperer V (2020). Sustainable development and populism. Ecological Economics 176;1-11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2020.106723 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2020.106723
Lewis P (2008). Poverty, Inequality, and Democracy: Growth Without Prosperity in Africa. Journal of Democracy. 19;95-109. https://doi.org/10.1353/jod.0.0041 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/jod.0.0041
Sen ET (2020). The rise of hybrid political Islam in Turkey-origins and consolidation of the JDP. British Journal of Middle Eastern. 47:869-715. https://doi.org/10.1080/13530194.2020.1815163 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13530194.2020.1815163
Tziarras Z (2018). Erdoğanist authoritarianism and the 'new 'Turkey. Southeast and Black Sea Studies. 18:593-98. https://doi.org/10.1080/14683857.2018.1540408 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14683857.2018.1540408
Tuncer MA (2022). Is our democracy in peril. Script.
Yanatma S (2016). Media capture and advertising in Turkey; The impact of the state on news. https://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/research/files/Media%2520capture%2520and%2520advertising%2520in%2520Turkey..pdf (February 2022)
Yanatma, S. (2021). Advertising and Media Capture in Turkey: How Does the State Emerge as the Largest Advertiser with the Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism? The International Journal of Press/Politics, 26(4), 797–821. https://doi.org/10.1177/19401612211018610 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/19401612211018610
Yavuz H. (2009) Secularism and Muslim. Democracy in Turkey. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, UK (February 2022) https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511815089 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511815089
Published On: 2022-05-21
Also Available On
Note: Third-party indexing sometime takes time. Please wait one week or two for indexing.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 A.Murat Tuncer
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors contributing to this journal retain the copyright of their article but agree to publish their articles under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, and to remix, transform, and build upon the material, for any purpose, even commercially, under the condition that appropriate credit is given, that a link to the license is provided, and that they indicate if changes were made. They may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses them or their use.