Turkish citizens are going to the polls on June 7 to elect the next government that will rule the country until 2019. With an ongoing peace process with the Kurds, a stumbling democracy, an economic recession on the horizon, the prospect of constitutional reform, a stalled EU accession process, tension in Turkey-U.S. relations, and a region engulfed in chaos, the stakes have not been higher.
Twenty parties will the 2015 elections, while two parties will field independent candidates. Most pollsters predict that the four parties in the current parliament, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), are the most likely parties to enter the parliament in June. Despite the decline in its votes, there is little doubt that the AKP will continue as the largest party in parliament. But whether it will secure enough votes to form a majority government largely depends on a wild card: the pro-Kurdish HDP.
The key topics dominating the electoral debate are: the erosion of freedoms, civil liberties, and rule of law; constitutional reform; the shift to a presidential system; the economic slowdown; the Kurdish issue; and Turkey’s foreign policy. How the future government handles these issues will determine the future course of a country in an increasingly volatile region.
The Election Environment
Elections in Turkey over the past decades have generally been free and fair. However, the 2014 local and presidential elections raised serious concerns regarding voting fraud and the integrity of the electoral system. A lack of opportunity to challenge the decisions of the Supreme Board of Elections (SBE) and an absence of legal provisions for international and citizen elections observation have cast doubt on the upcoming elections.
The elections are administered by four bodies: the Supreme Board of Elections (SBE), the Provincial Electoral Boards (PEB), the District Electoral Boards (DEB), and the Ballot Box Committees (BBC). The SBE is composed of judges elected by and from the Supreme Court and the Council of State for six-year terms. It has overall for the conduct of elections, and its rulings cannot be appealed. Eligible political parties can appoint non-voting representatives to the SBE, PEBs, and DEBs. The four political parties that the highest number of votes in the last parliamentary elections may nominate non-voting SBE representatives.
Although Turkish legislation is generally conducive to the holding of democratic elections, there are increasing concerns about transparency and impartiality in the work of the election administration. The SEB operates under the judicial branch, but the electronic components of elections remain under the control of the executive branch. The list of registered voters and their addresses are provided to the SEB by the General Directorate of Population that serves under the Ministry of Interior. The database called UYAP, which sends local election results to the main server, is by the Ministry of Justice. An incident in Istanbul before the March 2014 local elections fueled concerns about pressure put on election officials by local authorities. AKP executives asked the Istanbul National Education Directorate to hand over the list of the monitors on duty at ballot boxes. The directorate then sent letters titled “urgent” to schools in Istanbul, demanding the list, which is under Turkey’s electoral law.
Turkey’s use of Computer Supported Centralized Voter Roll System software, which is vulnerable to electronic manipulation and programming, raises further concerns. Power outages in Ankara and Istanbul during the vote-counting and data-entry hours in the 2009 and 2014 local elections led opposition parties to that results were tilted. The absence of legal provisions for international and citizen election observation exacerbates fears about election fraud.
What is at Stake?
Erosion of Freedoms, Civil Liberties, and the Rule of Law
The AKP’s early years in power—after its victory in 2002—were marked by significant reforms on the democratization front. The party took steps to increase basic freedoms, including the right to free expression. The military’s political power has been curbed, and restrictions on expressions of Kurdish language and identity have been softened. The death penalty has been abolished, and torture and extrajudicial killings are far less common.
Yet the AKP’s domestic record in recent years has been mixed. On the positive side, the government has launched negotiations with the PKK and has introduced modest reforms, such as allowing Kurdish education in private schools and political activity in Kurdish. The government has also carried out reforms that allow the return of property to non-Muslim charitable foundations that were taken away in earlier decades. In addition, the third judicial reform package adopted in 2012 narrowed the scope of terror-related crimes.1
Following the Gezi protests in 2013 and the rupture with its one-time ally Fethullah Gulen, however, the government has become increasingly authoritarian in response to its political opponents and critics. It has undermined the rule of law, introduced new restrictions on Internet freedoms, and handed unprecedented powers to the intelligence agency and the police.
In February 2014, the parliament approved a bill designed to restructure the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), the body tasked with overseeing the major functions of the Turkish judiciary. The new legislation altered the composition of the board and the selection of members, whilst giving the minister of justice the ability to unilaterally issue decrees in HSYK’s name, decide on disciplinary action against members of the judiciary, and the agenda for all board meetings.
In addition, the parliament recently restructured two of Turkey’s top courts, the Supreme Court of Appeals and the Council of State, adding new judges and reducing the number of years of seniority required to be elected. Due to the expanded power of the now government-controlled HSYK, the Supreme Court of Appeals will no longer be able to veto judges appointed to HSYK. Furthermore, the Ministry of Justice will appoint 4,000 new judges and prosecutors, flooding the profession with pro-government figures.
In March, the government passed a security package expanding police powers, along with an online surveillance law. The law allows police to conduct searches and arrests without immediate court orders. The law separately empowers government-appointed governors to order police or paramilitary forces to conduct searches and detain suspects for up to 48 hours without immediate court orders. The online surveillance law police to wiretap or monitor the online activities of suspects without court orders for 48 hours.
Press freedom in Turkey has further deteriorated since the AKP launched an all-out war against the Gulenists. Reporters Without Borders Turkey 149th of 180 countries in the press freedom index. During President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's time in office (prime minister from 2003-2014 and president from August 2014), 63 journalists have been sentenced to a total of 32 years in prison. Between July and December of 2014 (Erdogan's presidency), Turkey filed 477 requests to Twitter for removal of content, over five times more than any other country and an increase of 156 percent from the first half of the year.
In December, Turkish police launched a media operation and detained 31 people, including media figures and former police chiefs, simultaneously addresses in 13 provinces across the country.
Long detention periods, violations of the right to a fair trial, excessive police force in demonstrations, financial and other pressures on media owners and critics, and the AKP leadership’s increasingly conservative rhetoric all point to Turkey’s rising democratic deficit. Turkey was once characterized as an “illiberal democracy” in which the majority imposes its will on the rest of society. Turkey under the AKP, however, is drifting toward a Democratic institutions are widely viewed as the primary means of gaining power, but civil liberties violations and the abuse of state and media resources are so prevalent that the regime in Turkey can no longer be labeled democratic.
There is a wide consensus in Turkey that the current constitution, drafted by the military coup leaders, represents a critical hurdle toward sustainable democracy.2
Since the AKP came to power in 2002, the party has undertaken several constitutional amendments. After its second electoral victory in 2007, then-Prime Minister Erdogan asked a group of liberal academics to prepare a new constitutional draft. They came up with a text that was far more liberal and democratic than the existing one, but it did not the needed momentum to institutionalize change.
In 2010, the AKP introduced radical amendments to the constitution by changing or abolishing 24 articles and adding two provisional articles. The most controversial changes included the amendments related to the composition of the Constitutional Court and the High Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors, as well as the abolition of judicial immunity with regard to the decisions of the Supreme Military Council—amendments that greatly reduced the tutelary role of the military establishment.3 The amendments were sent to referendum and adopted by a 58 percent majority.
After the AKP’s third electoral victory in 2011, Erdogan reaffirmed the party’s commitment to draft a new constitution. In 2012 all major parties in parliament joined a Constitutional Reconciliation Commission with the aim of finding common ground for a new draft. However, after several postponements and lack of agreement on a few issues, it became that reaching a consensus was close to impossible. The parties had different red lines, such as their view on a presidential system or the definition of Turkish citizenship—lines they have persistently refused to cross.
For the past two years, the AKP has repeatedly announced that without consensus it will send its own draft constitution to referendum. The AKP needs 330 seats to accomplish this. In order to unilaterally change the constitution, it needs 367 seats.
The Presidential System
Creating an executive presidency lies behind Erdogan’s drive to forge a new constitution. Switching to a presidential system is the top priority in the AKP’s election manifesto. The manifesto presents the presidential system as the solution to Turkey’s democratic deficit and ineffective governance. Opponents as well as the overwhelming majority of the public, however, fear that a presidential system under Erdogan would herald an increasingly authoritarian state. Ergun Ozbudun, one of Turkey’s leading constitutional experts who participated in efforts to draft a new constitution in 2007, has Erdogan’s proposal a system of “super presidentialism” in which there are no checks and balances nor judicial independence.
The opposition parties support a new constitution, but they oppose a presidential system. In its election manifesto, the CHP its opposition to such a system and states that it will seek to rebuild the presidency as a nonpartisan institution with symbolic powers. The HDP has also criticism of a presidential system and advocates for greater decentralization of power at regional and local levels. Despite having proposed the idea of a presidential system in the past, the MHP the presidentialism that Erdogan proposes.
Strong economic performance, aided by a favorable global liquidity environment in the early years of AKP rule, has been key to the party’s electoral success. The AKP capitalized on a wave of regulatory reforms implemented by the coalition government in 2001 that established fiscal and monetary discipline and implemented regulatory measures in the banking and financial system.4 By demonstrating a firm commitment to the reform process and attracting large inflows of short-term and long-term foreign capital, the AKP oversaw years of inflation-free economic growth.
Since 2013, however, economic indicators point to slow and fragile growth, with significant risks to sustainable economic performance.5 The lira has lost over 10 percent of its value in the last five months. Turkey’s growth rate stood at 2.9 percent in 2014, and the IMF Turkish GDP to grow only 3 percent in 2015 and 2016.
The political instability following a summer of street unrest that also shook Erdogan's international credibility, along with a corruption scandal that led to the resignation of four cabinet ministers, are behind Turkey’s economic troubles.
The Turkish economy is highly dependent on foreign investment. There has been a in foreign direct investment due to concerns about corruption, judicial independence, and the general investment environment in Turkey. A Societe Generale survey that Turkey has the least credible central bank among emerging markets, along with Brazil and Nigeria. Most of those concerns stem from Erdogan’s frequent meddling
in the decisions of the Central Bank, which has cast doubt on the government’s ability to carry out sound economic policies.
In defiance of economic orthodoxy, Erdogan claims that high interest rates cause high inflation. Speaking in early February, he the Central Bank of misunderstanding the interplay of inflation and interest rates, criticized the statutory independence of the Central Bank, and called defenders of high interest rates “traitors” who send the lira to all-time lows.
Analysts warn that if political instability and Erdogan’s meddling in monetary policy continue, Turkey could face an economic crisis.
The Kurdish Issue
A peace process between the Turkish government and the Kurds has been ongoing since 2013, when PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan declared a cease-fire and ordered the PKK to withdraw fighters to bases in neighboring northern Iraq. But the peace process is fragile and vulnerable to domestic and regional dynamics. An escalation of violence occurred in October 2014 when Kurdish groups and Turkish security forces clashed during protests against the government’s stance on the north Syrian town of Kobani, where Kurdish forces were fighting the Islamic State. Clashes between the PKK and Turkish security again in April 2015; four soldiers were wounded, five PKK members were killed, and one PKK member was captured.
Despite the government’s declared commitment to a political solution, the reform process has been slow. Complicating matters is the pro-Kurdish HDP’s decision to run as a party rather than field independent candidates in the upcoming elections. For the HDP to be represented in the next parliament, it must pass the 10 percent electoral threshold. Despite the recent rise in HDP popularity, the risk that the party may remain below the threshold is still high. The PKK has threatened to resume violence and establish a de facto autonomous region if the HDP fails to make it to the parliament.
The PKK has already significantly expanded its diplomatic, economic, military, and political power both in Turkey and the region. The cease-fire with the Turkish state and the PKK’s battles in Syria and Iraq have opened a window for the PKK to establish civil society groups and build local institutions within Turkey’s Kurdish region. Relative democratization and the partial withdrawal of the Turkish security forces have opened up a democratic space for the PKK in the country’s southeast. Quasi-state structures with legal and fiscal trappings, such as courts and tax collection centers, have emerged. The PKK has also stepped up recruitment of militants and has enlarged its insurgency capacity in cities via its Patriotic Revolutionist Youth Movement (YDGH). Should the HDP fail to make it to the parliament, the PKK will call the shots in Turkey’s Kurdish political movement, rendering it even more power. The militant group might be tempted to use this power to shape the post-election dynamics. If the PKK resumes violence after the elections, it would not only tarnish its positive image but would also squander the HDP’s prospects of becoming an integral part of Turkey’s struggle for a more democratic future.
Ankara and Washington are out of sync on several regional issues. Ankara has cultivated close energy relations with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Erbil in recent years, and the two signed several deals without Baghdad’s approval. The United States reiterated its opposition to the deals, fearing that the closer energy ties could further push Baghdad's Shi‘i government toward Tehran and threaten Iraqi unity. Turkey, on the other hand, has argued that the Nuri al-Maliki government’s sectarian policies were the biggest threat to a unified Iraq and has criticized the United States for turning a blind eye to Maliki’s discrimination against the Sunnis.
There is a new government in Baghdad, but Washington and Ankara still are not on the same page. While the United States is hopeful that Iraq’s current prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, can reconcile ethnic and sectarian differences, Turkey argues that Sunnis are still underrepresented in important bureaucratic institutions such as security and criticizes the United States for continuing the status quo by beefing up the Iraqi Army against the Islamic State.
U.S. reluctance to call the toppling of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi by the military a “coup” has been another point of contention in U.S.-Turkey relations. The AKP capitalized on its ideological kinship with the Muslim Brotherhood and fostered close relations with the Morsi government. Since Morsi’s ouster, Ankara has been at the forefront of nations condemning the military takeover. But the biggest blow to the U.S.-Turkish relationship has been the conflict in Syria. Ankara and Washington have different priorities in the conflict, and neither side's actions are meeting the other's hopes or expectations.
Washington is primarily concerned about the rise of the Islamic State and views the conflict through the lens of counterterrorism. Hit hard by the ongoing civil war in Syria, Turkey sees the jihadi group as a symptom of the brutality of an illegitimate regime in a neighboring country that has posed far greater challenges for Ankara. Turkey believes that fighting the Assad regime is more important than the narrow counterterrorism mission that Obama has in mind. A military attack against ISIS is likely to strengthen not only Assad but also the PKK’s Syrian offshoot, the Democratic Union Party (PYD). To Erdogan, a strong advocate of regime change, anything short of Assad's ouster carries the risk of further weakening Turkey domestically and regionally and fueling extremism.
Facing a high-stakes crisis on its doorstep, Ankara thinks that the United States should pursue a more forceful action against the Assad regime and establish a no-fly zone within Syria. To Ankara, the Assad regime's ability to attack mainstream opposition forces from the air has strengthened the Islamic State, causing the Free Syrian Army to flee and allowing the Islamic militants to capture the vacant territory. Enforcing a no-fly zone over Syria, Turkey argues, would ground Assad's air force and boost rebels fighting to topple him. It could also address Turkey’s other concern, namely the strengthening of the PYD. A no-fly zone could establish a Turkish military presence and rid northern Syria of Kurdish fighters linked to the PKK.
The United States, for its part, thinks Turkey isn't doing enough in the anti-Islamic State coalition, considering its NATO membership and geographical proximity. Washington has been pressuring Ankara to allow the United States to use the Incirlik air base in its attack against ISIS, but Ankara set the no-fly zone as a condition to allow the United States to use the base.
Frustrated by the United States’ failure to heed its advice on Syria and Iraq, and by Iran’s growing clout in these countries, Turkey has turned to Saudi Arabia. The two seem to have put aside their differences over which opposition groups to support in Syria and have converged on an aggressive new strategy. This Turkish-Saudi has led to a new joint command center in the northeastern Syrian province of Idlib, where a coalition of groups—including Jabhat al-Nusra and other Islamist brigades, such as Ahrar al-Sham, which Washington views as extremist—are waging an effective war against the Assad regime. In March 2015 the alliance, calling itself “Conquest Army,” took the city of Idlib, followed by the strategic town of Jisr al-Shughour, and then a government military base.
The United States is concerned about the Turkish-Saudi effort to strengthen the Islamist groups. The Obama administration worries that the new alliance between Riyadh and Ankara is helping these groups, such as Jabhat al-Nusra, to gain territory.
The Turkish government’s violations of rule of law, human rights, and press freedoms since 2011 have strained an already difficult relationship between Turkey and the European Union. The European parliament a resolution on freedom of expression in Turkey on January 15 of this year that condemned the December 14, 2014 police raids and detention of a number of critical journalists and media representatives. The resolution stressed that “these actions call into question the respect for the rule of law and freedom of the media.” The parliament also expressed concern over a “backsliding in democratic reforms,” noting a “diminishing tolerance of public protests and a critical media,” while citing the December arrests as “a deplorable pattern of increased pressure and restriction of the press.”
As Turkey’s economy faces unimpressive growth and the country's economic ties with its southern neighbors have spiraled downward since the Arab Spring in 2011, the Turkish government has come to realize that it cannot further alienate the European Union. The EU for almost 40 percent of Turkish trade, 70 percent of its foreign direct investment, and more than 50 percent of its tourism industry. In an effort to rekindle the debate on Turkey’s EU accession, Turkey’s Ministry of European Affairs announced “Turkey’s European Union Strategy” in the fall of 2014. The reiterates Turkey’s determination to become a member and the need for Turkey and the EU to counter regional and international challenges together.
There is also growing support for EU membership in Turkish society, from a low of 34 percent in 2009 to 53 percent in 2014. There is not much enthusiasm from the European front, however, with even suggesting that Turkey’s EU accession negotiations should be suspended considering the country’s poor state of democracy.
There are three scenarios that are most likely to unfold after the elections, each with different consequences for the issues discussed.
Recent polls indicate that the HDP has around 10 percent of the vote, while the nationalist MHP has increased its share from 13 percent in the 2011 elections to 14 to 16 percent. The major opposition party, CHP, captured 25 percent in the 2011 elections. Opinion polls show that the CHP’s votes currently hover around 23 to 29 percent. The AKP won 49.9 percent of the votes in the 2011 elections and captured 326 seats. Polls a declining trend in votes for the AKP, at 40 to 44 percent. Still, if the HDP fails to make it to the parliament and if the opposition parties do not increase their share of the vote, the AKP might obtain a super-majority in parliament with 367 seats.
This outcome will have significant implications. The AKP would be able to unilaterally change the constitution to a presidential system under Erdogan, who would likely further violate the rule of law, erode judicial independence, and clamp down on journalists and political opponents.
Erdogan would also likely intensify his fight against the Gulenists. Pro-Gulen media outlets would continue to be targets. On May 18, the prosecutor in Ankara called for a ban on several opposition media outlets associated with Fethullah Gulen. Ekrem Dumanli, the editor of the pro-Gulen newspaper Zaman, was arrested and accused of leading a terrorist organization. Some that the government plans to use antiterrorism laws to shut down Hurriyet, Zaman, and their parent companies and confiscate their assets.
Erdogan would probably pursue a more conservative agenda in an effort to materialize his promise to raise “pious generations.” The government has already passed legislation promoting compulsory religious education, lowering the age at which students can attend religious imam hatip schools, and restricting alcohol consumption. Erdogan and others in the AKP publicly make discriminatory and misogynistic statements against women, which women’s activists are perpetuating violence against women. Erdogan’s further push for his conservative agenda would likely marginalize the secular way of life and augment polarization in the country.
Erdogan would likely tighten his grip on the economy as well. Erdogan’s political interference in monetary policy and the perception that the Central Bank has lost its independence due to his increased role in managing it has already international investors' confidence in Turkey. Further interference might lead to an economic recession.
If the HDP falls under the 10 percent threshold and fails to gain representation in the parliament, the Kurdish peace process would likely stumble. Further chaos would ensue if the PKK resumes violence or declares de facto autonomy in the Kurdish region. The government would probably respond harshly to both scenarios, engulfing the country in a new wave of violence.
Erdogan’s electoral success might embolden him to step up criticism of the Sisi regime in Egypt. Ankara has already embarked on a more aggressive policy in Syria. Casting aside U.S. concerns about aiding extremist groups, Ankara would continue to work closely with Saudi Arabia and Qatar on unifying the Islamist front in Syria. Turkey would also probably increase pressure on the United States to establish a no-fly zone inside Syria. These developments could further strain Ankara’s relations with Washington.
Turkey’s authoritarian drift under Erdogan would also further complicate Turkey’s EU membership process. Despite Turkey’s recent efforts to revive the process, the EU would likely intensify its criticism of the erosion of the rule of law, freedom of expression, and judiciary independence in post-election Turkey.
The second best scenario for the AKP is to capture around 44 percent of the votes, corresponding to 330 seats in parliament. In this case the AKP could still form a majority government and hold a referendum on the presidential system. This scenario is possible only if the HDP fails to clear the threshold and if the CHP and the MHP slightly increase their votes to 26 and 15 percent, respectively.
Moving to a de jure presidential system would be unlikely under this scenario since the overwhelming majority of the public is it. The 1982 constitution already grants broad powers to the presidency.6 Erdogan, being the first elected president, has assumed the role of chief executive since he entered the office in August 2014. This de facto presidentialism would continue under this scenario and would complicate Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s relationship with Erdogan.
Tensions between the two leaders were already evident in the run-up to the elections due to Erdogan’s constant interference in the government’s affairs. Davutoglu might have found it too politically risky to engage in a public row with Erdogan at that time and so decided to ignore his tightening grip. But he is unlikely to accept being Turkey’s Dmitri Medvedev for four years, especially if he can secure the support of others within the ruling cadre of the party.
Broader tensions in the top echelons of the party over who should rule the country have been brewing for some time. If the AKP captures just enough votes to form a majority government, senior party leaders might blame Erdogan and his heavy-handed approach for the significant drop in votes. This could lead to splits within the party between those who are pro-Erdogan and those who are anti-Erdogan.
This scenario would have implications similar to scenario 1 regarding the fight against the Gulen movement, democratization, and Turkey’s foreign policy.
To prevent further instability, the government could address some of the Kurdish demands in the draft constitution to be sent to referendum. But if the AKP secures more than 276 seats, the threshold to form a majority government, but less than 330 seats, it would need the support of another party in the parliament to take those amendments to referendum. If the AKP seeks the support of the nationalist MHP to secure 330 seats, Kurdish demands are likely to be left out of the draft constitution.
The worst scenario for the AKP—but the best one for Turkish democracy—is the third scenario, in which the HDP passes the threshold and the CHP and the MHP significantly increase their votes. If both the CHP and the MHP significantly increase their votes to 27 and 18 percent, respectively, the AKP might be forced to form a coalition government.
This would constitute a significant failure for the AKP and could cause splits within the party. Former President Abdullah Gul might emerge to lead the anti-Erdogan front. Under a coalition government, the AKP would be forced to compromise and pursue more inclusive policies. This would mean less intervention in the judiciary, less pressure on freedom of expression and political opponents, and improvement on the democratic front. This could lead to better relations with the EU.
On the foreign policy front, Turkey would likely still pursue an independent foreign policy but might be more risk averse in the Middle East. Turkey would continue to work closely with Saudi Arabia and Qatar to topple the Assad regime, but could be forced to cut back its support for radical Islamist groups, depending on its coalition partner.
The most likely scenario is a coalition government with the nationalist MHP, which would not change Turkey’s foreign policy significantly. But a coalition with the MHP would end the peace process with the Kurds and lead to an escalation of violence between the PKK and the Turkish state. Although Turkey’s economy might fare better without the constant political meddling, renewed violence with the PKK would exacerbate the economic downturn.
If the AKP enters a coalition government with the pro-Kurdish HDP, Turkey might finally solve its decades-old Kurdish problem and put its turbulent path to democracy back on track. A coalition with the HDP would also dramatically alter Turkey’s Syria policy, forcing the government to distance itself from the Islamist groups and reach out to the Kurdish groups in Syria.
Turkey is at a crossroads. After 13 years of AKP rule, Turkey’s democracy is being compromised by the suppression of critical voices. This gradual slide toward authoritarianism has undone the democratic achievements of the AKP during its first two terms. Yet there is still hope for Turkish democracy. The June 7 elections will reveal how soon Turkey will start working on its daunting problems, from the Kurdish question to its stumbling democracy, staggering economy, and failing foreign policy.
1 Ergun Ozbudun, “AKP at the Crossroads: Erdogan’s Majoritarian Drift,” South European Society and Politics 19, 2 (2014).
2 Ergun Ozbudun, “Turkey: Plural Society and Monolithic State,” in Democracy, Islam and Secularism in Turkey, Ahmet T. Kuru and Alfred Stepan, eds. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2012).
3 Ozbudun, “Turkey: Plural Society and Monolithic State.”
4 Ziya Onis, “The Triumph of Conservative Globalism: The Political Economy of the AKP Era,” Turkish Studies 13, 2 (2012).
5 Ziya Onis, “Monopolizing the Center: The AKP and the Uncertain Path of Turkish Democracy,” October 26, 2014, .
6 Ergun Ozbudun, The Constitutional System of Turkey: 1876 to the Present (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).