Between Fedora and Fez: Modern Turkey’s Troubled Road to Democratic Consolidation and the Pluralizing Role of Erdoğan’s Pro-Islam Government

  • Spyridon Kotsovilis


In October 2003, the Turkish Republic celebrated its eightieth anniversary, and for many believers in the Kemalist principles under which it was founded, the election a year earlier of Tayyip Erdoğan’s pro-Islam Justice and Development Party (AKP) did not contribute to the festive mood at all. Still, after more than three years into its mandate, Erdoğan’s government has arguably proven to be far from as negative a development as had been widely feared. On the contrary, AKP’s tenure has presented a significant opportunity towards the reconciliation — that is, coexistence — between Islamic and Kemalist republican elements regarding the character of the Turkish state, and therefore towards the pluralizing of a hitherto monolithic, laicist, top-down prescribed identity to reflect the modern socio-political, cultural and demographic realities of modern Turkey While its outcome is by no means certain or complete, this latest endeavour to expand the Turkish socio-political and civic space may strengthen substantially the pace for democratic consolidation in modern Turkey.


Turkish Society Democratic Consolidation Turkish State Electoral Victory Electoral Democracy 
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© Spyridon Kotsovilis 2006

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  • Spyridon Kotsovilis

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