Turkey’s Democratic Dilemma

In a WPR piece about the aftermath of Turkey’s Constitutional Court decision that spared the ruling AKP party while imposing financial penalties, Jonas Clark writes that the episode, by demonstrating how out of touch the secularist old guard is with popular sentiment, might provide Turkey with a chance to define a more relevant, contemporary secularism: Caught between these two poles — Islamism and Kemalist secularism — Turkey has yet to stake out a coherent middle way. But a slightly chastened AKP may very well undertake such a course. Instead of waging polarizing and fierce ideological battles that threaten to destabilize […]

ISTANBUL, Turkey — It seems a rarity these days that a political party’s religiosity would work against it. In the last several decades, parties with religious affiliations have scored victory after victory in voting booths around the world, and seldom does their piety put them in jeopardy. Yet in Turkey, where the country’s secular establishment still wields considerable power, that’s very nearly what happened this week when its national court narrowly avoided banning the majority AK Party — a coalition of moderates with decidedly Islamic roots — from the country’s political scene. The court’s decision brought an end to a […]

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