The Transition from Democracy to Autocratic Rule


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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. 


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Published on: 2022-05-21

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How to Cite

Tuncer, A. (2022). The Transition from Democracy to Autocratic Rule. Sprin Journal of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, 1(05), 275–281.