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The codes of the Ak Party’s ideological transformation
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CitationDuran, B.(2020). The codes of the Ak Party’s ideological transformation. K. B. Kanat, B. Duran (Ed.), Ak Party Years in Turkey Domestic and Foreign Policy içinde (7-39 ss.). Ankara: SETA
The identity and ideology of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), and more importantly, the transformation thereof, which came to power just one year after its establishment and has ruled Turkey for 18 consecutive years, has been the subject of heated debate. At home and abroad, there is an ongoing discussion about where the AK Party ‘wants to take Turkey.’ In this regard, a number of ideologically- charged criticisms have been voiced over the years. The most extreme lines of criticism include the accusation that the movement was a sub-contractor of Washington’s Greater Middle East Project and the charge of turning Turkey’s back on the West to join the Eurasian axis. It is important to note that the same critics identify the AK Party in various ways, ranging from ‘democratic Islamist’ to ‘religious authoritarian’ to ‘counter-revolutionary’ and ‘religious Kemalist’. In the wake of the 2009 World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland and the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident, the AK Party was charged with ‘returning to Islamism’ and ‘taking an authoritarian turn’. Since the 2013 Gezi Park protests, that narrative became commonplace in the Western media. Amidst those accusations, how the AK Party views its actions vis-à-vis its political platform and identity references is often ignored...