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The Welfare Party, The Justice and Development Party and democracy : change or continuity?

Gelir, Fatma Senem
Through this thesis, it is aimed to study the democracy understanding of the Welfare Party (the WP), which was closed down in 1998 by the decision of the Constitutional Court, and the Justice and Development Party (the JDP), which leaved the November 2002 general elections as the leading party and has still been running the country as the single party, in a comparative way. Since the foundation of the JDP, the founders have presented the JDP as a new political formation, which is different from the WP, with which it shares the same political legacy of a tradition (National Outlook Tradition). In that context, through this thesis, the change of claim of the JDP̕s founders is tried to analyze by settling democracy understanding of these two parties to the center of the study and clarifying the points f change and continuity. The comprehension is tried to do by studying these two parties̕ understanding of society and politics and analyzing how these two parties define and discuss the term of democracy and related concepts such laicism, human rights, participative democracy, pluralist democracy in their discourse. The internal and external factors that affected the parties̕ both the understandings of society and politics; and definition of the term of democracy and related concepts have also been studied. The official party documents, the statements of party authorities and the books of Milli Görüs and Muhafazakar Demokrasi are referred as the primarily resources and the main relevant studies of the Turkish political history literature about the political Islam, state-religion relation, National Outlook have also referred as the secondary resources.