Volume 22, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) is one of the longest ruling among contemporary populist radical right parties (PRR). For nearly two decades, the AKP has shown tremendous success in achieving electoral dominance and political control. This article argues that AKP’s success lies in its ability to reconfigure the issue salience in Turkish politics by bringing the secular-conservative cleavage into the center of political competition. However, as this article shows, while the government’s framing of conservative/religious values was initially populist, as the Party consolidated its power, populism became secondary to nativism. This nativist turn is characterized by an emphasis on the foreignness of “the elites” and is shaped by secularization of the public sphere and antiwesternism. Overall, AKP has not presented a fundamental opposition to the “establishment” but brought together many components of Turkey’s institutional and cultural structure and radicalized patterns already present in earlier eras.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): desecularisation; nationalism; nativism; populism; Turkish politics
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