Turkish Party System Through Volatile Social and Political Cleavages

  • Sevinç Bermek


This chapter looks at the evolution of the Turkish party system by introducing the Lipset-Rokkan’s cleavage structure and updating it for the contemporary Turkish context. The chapter analyses cleavages that characterise the Turkish political system that consisted of the centre-periphery, left-right, secularist-Islamist, Turkish-Kurdish, as well as sub-cleavages. It describes the background of these cleavages and how they have translated into political parties since the establishment of the Republic. It also demonstrates how ethnic and identity claims became apparent at the beginning of the twenty-first century. In line with dynamic cleavages, the chapter also provides clues on how the Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, JDP) managed to capitalise on different cleavages through a policy agenda that in turn helped Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to gain a foothold in 2002.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Sevinç Bermek
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Middle Eastern StudiesKing’s College LondonLondonUK

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