Two transformative actors of Turkish politics : Justice and Development Party and Kurds

Karakaş Kökce, Halime
In its most general form this study aims to understand and reveal the dynamics that shape AKP’s Kurdish politics. In this way primarily, socio-political factors that constitute AKP and the political tradition out of which it has arose have been analyzed with in the theoretical framework of the center-periphery model. It seeks to determine the socio-political basis of AKPs emergence on a platform of change and EU centered vision. It understands this approach as an effort to legitimize itself against a Kemalist center. This study understands AKP’s desire to align itself with the West in the course of its quest for legitimization and its desire for the candidacy for the process of ascension to the European Union as the only paths to take after the events of February the 28th has confirmed the judgment that Turkey cannot consolidate its own democracy within its own dynamics. This study contends that the most fundamental influence that has shaped AKP’s Kurdish politics and obliged AKP to attend to the Kurdish problem, in addition to the political tradition out of which AKP arose, is full accession to EU and the target of consolidating democracy. The study also analyzes the evolutionary phases the Kurdish politics went through. The process of consolidation of democracy in Turkey in accordance with the requirements of ascension to the EU has been seen as the common fate of AKP and the Kurdish politics as well as the source of legitimization both domestically and internationally. This study understands AKP’s Kurdish politics as one of a paradox for the ethnic and religious identities that has faced a systematic resistance since the conception of the republic: On the one hand is the union of these two identities against a sociopolitical system that excludes both, and on the other hand is their political competition on a platform that is perpetually overlapping. The study concludes that AKP’s determination and ability to solve the Kurdish problem will give hints on whether the party would succeed or not in its mission of cerating a new political language and democratizing the country.


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Citation Formats
H. Karakaş Kökce, “Two transformative actors of Turkish politics : Justice and Development Party and Kurds,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2010.