On the eve of the election. Kizilcahamam, Turkey, June 6, 2015  © Steve Hobson | Flickr
EssaysLiberal Democracy in Question

The Tragedy of the 2015 Turkish Elections

Examining the AKP victory

The November 2015 election brought a landslide victory to the Justice and Development Party (AKP), increasing its vote almost nine points in 5 months. This surprising comeback would be hard to explain in an ordinary situation where such drastic shifts in voting in a short time period would not be expected. However, it …

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The "Rebel Penguin," symbol of Turkish resistance. © Unknown | http://postvirtual.wordpress.com
EssaysLiberal Democracy in Question

Gezi Resistance: Re-claiming Democracy

A prominent political theorist, Judith Shklar, once said that the rule of law has become “a self-congratulatory rhetorical device” [1] used by the politicians, who try to legitimize whatever they do just by uttering the word “the rule of law.” I think we can say the same thing for democracy as well. In Turkey, every political party aims for democracy. Even the military suspended democratic politics with the claim of saving it. The Gezi protests are accepted as an instance of democratic politics, and Erdogan sees himself as the gatekeeper of democratic politics allowing no one in. What I am trying to do here is to provide a perspective from which we can analyze the AKP (the Justice and Development Party) and its relation to democracy on the one hand, and the impact of the Gezi, on the other. In doing this, I will draw on three thinkers and their ideas of democracy, namely Carl Schmitt, Claude Lefort and Jacques Ranciere.

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