AbstractPresident Erdogan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) fundamentally transformed the Turkish political realm: The AKP was elected in 2002 on promises of economic liberalisation and accession to the European Union (EU). Over sixteen years it steered Turkey from being perceived as a “model” western-style democracy to autocracy. Instrumental for this transformation was Erdogan’s use of a new form of right-wing, religiously legitimated populism that systematically undermined the institutions of democracy by polarising society, capturing the public discourse and disregarding constitutional principles. This article examines the emergence of the AKP’s right-wing, religiously legitimated populism through three analytical lenses: First, the historical development of democracy in Turkey and its shortcomings; second, the antidemocratic effect of Erdogan’s post-coup attempt policies; third, a comparison between the AKP’s brand of populism with political strategies employed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in India, the Law and Justice Party (PiS) in Poland and Putin’s Russia.
Populism – Brill
Published: Dec 4, 2018