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"The conservative-democratic" identity of the Justice and Development Party in the Turkish center-right tradition

Topcuoğlu, Leman Sinem
Trough this thesis, it is aimed to study "the conservative-democratic" identity of the Justice and Development Party(AKP), which was established just before the November 3, 2002 elections and has still been running the country as the single party, in the context of the Turkish center-right tradition. Although the AKP comes from the political legancy of the National View Tradition (MG), it has presented itself as a new political formation at least aspiring to a centrist location in the political spectrum.Thus, the AKP puts itself in the political tradition inherited from the Progressive Republican Party, the Democratic Party, the Justice Party, and Turgut Özal's Motherland Party with an attempt to forge a synthesis between liberal and conservative trends within Turkey around a new social consensus. In this thesis, the components of the "conservative-democratic" rhetoric of the AKP is analyzed to shed light over its conceptualization of democracy, pluralism, social change and secularism.This thesis is presented through an over its rhetoric of "change". It is argued that the conservative-democratic rhetoric of the party is characterized by ambivalent points, if not contradictions, which reflect the party's ongoing search for a distinct position and identity and its aim of appealing to broader sections of the conservative electorate.