The HDP, the AKP and the Battle for Turkish Democracy

PAW Network researcher Matthew Whiting (University of Birmingham), with Zeynep N. Kaya, has published an article:

Kaya, Zeynep N.,  and Matthew Whiting. 2019. “The HDP, the AKP and the Battle for Turkish Democracy.” Ethnopolitics 18:1.

The conflict between the AKP and the HDP can, in part, be understood as a conflict over the nature of democracy in Turkey. While the AKP embodies a vision of majoritarian democracy that has descended into electoral authoritarianism, the HDP offers an alternative vision of ‘radical democracy’ that argues for minority rights and checks on the centralised state. It is against this backdrop that this article analyses the rise of the HDP to become the first Kurdish party to pass the 10% electoral threshold without allying with another party and gain representation in the Grand National Assembly. This article argues that while both parties offer competing visions of democracy, both are instrumental. That is, the parties’ commitment to their democratic visions depends upon the degree to which it helps to advance their interests. In this regard, they fit a longer-term pattern in Turkish politics, which ultimately leaves Turkish democracy weak and with little reason for optimism going forward.

You can access the article here.

 

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