This book charts the economic, social and political rise of the Justice and Development Party (JDP) as well as its political resilience over the last sixteen years. Going beyond the standard dichotomy debate of political Islam versus secularism, the author shows how the JDP, a political party with substantial roots in political Islam, came to power in 2002 as an outcome of the socioeconomic transformation process that started in the country in the 1980s. The book further illustrates how the party consolidated its ruling power by catering to its core constituencies via a multifaceted set of policies that gave rise to the emergence of a powerful political machine. A careful analysis of the JDP’s policy agenda highlights the discrepancy between the party's discourse and its supply of policies. Furthermore, the author shows how the party has skilfully (re-)framed its ideological stance by changing alliances, and in analysing this hybrid ideological framing she presents key underpinnings of the party that paved the way to a fundamental restructuring of the Turkish party system and establishment of a new regime that replaced the old guard. This book will be of interest to academics, graduate students and researchers interested in comparative politics, political science and sociology.
Sevinç Bermek is Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of the Middle Eastern Studies, King’s College London, UK.