The Justice and Development Party in Turkey: Populism, Personalism, Organization

The Justice and Development Party in Turkey: Populism, Personalism, Organization

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Toygar Sinan Baykan
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Turkish politics were remarkably reshaped in the early 2000s following the decline of the Islamist National View and the electoral breakthrough of the new Justice and Development Party (JDP) headed by Erdoğan. Beside its Islamist credentials, Erdoğan's JDP consistently and convincingly presented itself as the 'populist' defender of the downtrodden sectors of Turkish society. However, with Erdoğan's rise as the popularly elected president in 2014, Turkey's already fragile democratic system was driven in a more authoritarian direction. Shifting the focus away from structural factors, this book analyzes the political appeal and organisation of the JDP that granted them such unprecedented electoral resilience. With critical but accessible theoretical discussions, Toygar Sinan Baykan locates the JDP within the wider literature of populism, Islamist party politics, party organisations and authoritarianism. Over fifty in-depth interviews also help to relate the intimate story of Turkey's socio-cultural divides and the JDP's intraparty organisational dynamics, thereby offering a fresh account of Turkish politics.