Justice and Development Party (Turkey)

Last updated
Justice and Development Party

Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi
AbbreviationAK Parti (official) [1]
AKP (unofficial) [2]
Leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
General Secretary Fatih Şahin
Parliamentary Leader Naci Bostancı
Spokesperson Mahir Ünal
FounderRecep Tayyip Erdoğan
Founded14 August 2001;17 years ago (2001-08-14)
Preceded by Virtue Party
HeadquartersSöğütözü Caddesi No 6
Çankaya, Ankara
Youth wing AK Youth
Membership (2018)10,100,083 [1]
Ideology Islamism [3]
Islamic democracy [4] [5]
Conservative democracy
Social conservatism [6] [7] [8]
National conservatism [5] [9] [10]
Right-wing populism [11]
Neo-Ottomanism [12] [13] [14]
Authoritarianism [15] [16]
Political position Right-wing [17]
National affiliation People's Alliance
International affiliationNone
Colors     Orange
Grand National Assembly
291 / 600
Metropolitan municipalities
15 / 30
District municipalities
800 / 1,351
Provincial councillors
779 / 1,251
Municipal Assemblies
10,530 / 20,498
Party flag
Flag of the Justice and Development Party (Turkey).svg

The Justice and Development Party (Turkish : Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi), abbreviated officially AK Parti in Turkish, is a conservative [18] [19] political party in Turkey. Developed from the conservative tradition of Turkey's Ottoman past and its Islamic identity, [20] the party is the largest in Turkey. Founded in 2001 by members of a number of existing conservative parties, the party has won pluralities in the six most recent legislative elections, those of 2002, 2007, 2011, June 2015, November 2015, and 2018. The party held a majority of seats for 13 years, but lost it in June 2015, only to regain it in the snap election of November 2015 but then lose it again in 2018. Its electoral success has been mirrored in the three local elections held since the party's establishment, coming first in 2004, 2009 and 2014 respectively. The current party leader is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the incumbent President of Turkey.

Turkish language Turkic language mainly spoken and used in Turkey

Turkish, also referred to as Istanbul Turkish, and sometimes known as Turkey Turkish, is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with around ten to fifteen million native speakers in Southeast Europe and sixty to sixty-five million native speakers in Western Asia. Outside Turkey, significant smaller groups of speakers exist in Germany, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Northern Cyprus, Greece, the Caucasus, and other parts of Europe and Central Asia. Cyprus has requested that the European Union add Turkish as an official language, even though Turkey is not a member state.

Conservatism is a political and social philosophy promoting traditional social institutions in the context of culture and civilization. The central tenets of conservatism include tradition, human imperfection, organic society, hierarchy, authority, and property rights. Conservatives seek to preserve a range of institutions such as religion, parliamentary government, and property rights, with the aim of emphasizing social stability and continuity. The more traditional elements—reactionaries—oppose modernism and seek a return to "the way things were".

Turkey Republic in Western Asia

Turkey, officially the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country located mainly in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. East Thrace, located in Europe, is separated from Anatolia by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorous strait and the Dardanelles. Turkey is bordered by Greece and Bulgaria to its northwest; Georgia to its northeast; Armenia, the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan and Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the south. Istanbul is the largest city, but more central Ankara is the capital. Approximately 70 to 80 per cent of the country's citizens identify as Turkish. Kurds are the largest minority; the size of the Kurdish population is a subject of dispute with estimates placing the figure at anywhere from 12 to 25 per cent of the population.


Shortly after formation, the AKP portrayed itself as a pro-Western, pro-American [21] party in the Turkish political spectrum that advocated a liberal market economy including Turkish membership in the European Union. [22] The party had for a long time been supported by the Cemaat Movement of exiled Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, whose influence in the judiciary has helped to weaken the opposition against the AKP. [23] The party was an observer in the center-right European People's Party between 2005 and 2013 and a member of the Eurosceptic Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe (ACRE) from 2013 [24] to 2018. [25]

Accession of Turkey to the European Union

Turkey is negotiating its accession to the European Union (EU) as a member state, following its application accede to the European Economic Community, the predecessor of the EU, on 14 April 1987. After the ten founding members, Turkey was one of the first countries to become a member of the Council of Europe in 1949. The country was also an associate member of the Western European Union from 1992 to its end in 2011. Turkey signed a Customs Union agreement with the EU in 1995 and was officially recognised as a candidate for full membership on 12 December 1999, at the Helsinki summit of the European Council.

The Gülen movement is a self-described transnational social movement based on moral values and advocation of universal access to education, civil society, tolerance and peace, inspired by the religious teachings of Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish Islamic preacher who has lived in the United States since 1999. Owing to the outlawed status of the Gülen movement in Turkey, some observers refer to those the movement's volunteers who are Turkish Muslims as effectively of a sub-sect of Sunni Islam; these volunteers generally hold their religious tenets as generically Turkish Sunni Islam. The movement also includes participants from other nationalities and religious affiliations.

Fethullah Gülen Muslim theologian and Turkish dissident

Muhammed Fethullah Gülen is a Turkish Islamic scholar, preacher, and de facto leader of the Gülen movement – an international, faith-based civil society organization presently outlawed in Turkey as an alleged "armed terrorist group." An influential Ottomanist, Anatolian panethnicist, Islamic poet, writer, social critic, and activist–dissident developing a Nursian theological perspective that embraces democratic modernity, as a citizen of Turkey he was a local state imam from 1959 to 1981. Over the years, Gülen became a centrist political figure in Turkey prior his there being as a fugitive. Since 1999, Gülen has lived in self-exile in the United States near Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.

Controversies over whether the party remains committed to secular principles enshrined in the Turkish constitution despite their Islamist origins have dominated Turkish politics since 2002 and has resulted in numerous unsuccessful closure cases.[ clarification needed ] [26]

Secularism, as defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is the "indifference to, or rejection or exclusion of, religion and religious considerations." In certain context, the word can refer to anticlericalism, atheism, desire to exclude religion from social activities or civic affairs, banishment of religious symbols from the public sphere, state neutrality toward religion, the separation of religion from state, or disestablishment.

Nationwide protests broke out against the alleged authoritarianism of the AKP in 2013, with the party's heavy-handed response receiving international condemnation and stalling the party's once championed EU accession negotiations. [27] Since then, the party has brought about tighter regulations on internet use, abortion and alcohol consumption, having temporarily blocked access to Twitter and YouTube in March 2014. [28] Especially after the government corruption scandal involving several AKP ministers in 2013, the party has been increasingly accused of crony capitalism. [29] The AKP favours a strong centralized leadership, having long advocated a presidential system of government and significantly reduced the number of elected local government positions in 2013. [30]

A wave of demonstrations and civil unrest in Turkey began on 28 May 2013, initially to contest the urban development plan for Istanbul's Taksim Gezi Park. The protests were sparked by outrage at the violent eviction of a sit-in at the park protesting the plan. Subsequently, supporting protests and strikes took place across Turkey, protesting a wide range of concerns at the core of which were issues of freedom of the press, of expression, assembly, and the government's encroachment on Turkey's secularism. With no centralised leadership beyond the small assembly that organized the original environmental protest, the protests have been compared to the Occupy movement and the May 1968 events. Social media played a key part in the protests, not least because much of the Turkish media downplayed the protests, particularly in the early stages. Three and a half million people are estimated to have taken an active part in almost 5,000 demonstrations across Turkey connected with the original Gezi Park protest. Twenty-two people were killed and more than 8,000 were injured, many critically.

Authoritarianism is a form of government characterized by strong central power and limited political freedoms. Under an authoritarian regime, individual freedoms are subordinate to the state, and there is no constitutional accountability. Authoritarian regimes can be autocratic, with power concentrated in one person, or can be a committee, with power shared among officials and government institutions. The political scientist Juan Linz defined authoritarianism in an influential 1964 work as possessing four qualities:

  1. Limited political pluralism, realized with constraints on the legislature, political parties, and interest groups;
  2. Political legitimacy based upon appeals to emotion, and identification of the regime as a necessary evil to combat "easily recognizable societal problems, such as underdevelopment, and insurgency";
  3. Minimal political mobilization and suppression of anti-regime activities;
  4. Ill-defined executive powers, often vague and shifting, which extends the power of the executive.

Internet regulation in Turkey is primarily authorized under the Electronic Communications Law (ECL) and the Internet Act and carried out by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA).


The AKP was established by a wide range of politicians of various political parties and a number of new politicians.[ when? ] The core of the party was formed from the reformist faction of the Islamist Virtue Party, including people such as Abdullah Gül, Bülent Arınç. A second founding group consisted of members of the social conservative Motherland Party who had been close to Turgut Özal, such as Cemil Çiçek and Abdülkadir Aksu. Some members of the True Path Party, such as Hüseyin Çelik and Köksal Toptan, joined the AKP. Some members, such as Kürşad Tüzmen had nationalist or Ertuğrul Günay, had center-left backgrounds while representatives of the nascent 'Muslim left' current were largely excluded. [31] In addition a large number of people joined a political party for the first time, such as Ali Babacan, Selma Aliye Kavaf, Egemen Bağış and Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. All of these people joined Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to found the new party.

Virtue Party Islamist political party in Turkey

Virtue Party was an Islamist political party established in 17 December 1997 in Turkey. It was found unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court and then banned on 22 June 2001 for violating the secularist articles of the Constitution. After the party's ban, the party MPs founded two sections of parties: reformist Justice and Development Party (AKP) and traditionalist Felicity Party (SP).

Abdullah Gül 11th President of Turkey 2007–2014

Abdullah Gül is a Turkish politician who served as the 11th President of Turkey, in office from 2007 to 2014. He previously served for four months as Prime Minister from 2002 to 2003, and concurrently served as both Deputy Prime Minister and as Foreign Minister between 2003 and 2007. He is currently a member of the Advisory Panel for the President of the Islamic Development Bank.

Bülent Arınç Turkish politician

Bülent Arınç is a conservative Turkish politician. He served as the 22nd Speaker of the Parliament of Turkey from 2002 to 2007 and as a Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey between 2009 and 2015.


Although the party is described as an Islamist party in some media, party officials reject those claims. [32] According to former minister Hüseyin Çelik, "In the Western press, when the AKP administration – the ruling party of the Turkish Republic – is being named, unfortunately most of the time 'Islamic,' 'Islamist,' 'mildly Islamist,' 'Islamic-oriented,' 'Islamic-based' or 'with an Islamic agenda,' and similar language is being used. These characterizations do not reflect the truth, and they sadden us." Çelik added, "The AKP is a conservative democratic party. The AKP's conservatism is limited to moral and social issues." [33] Also in a separate speech made in 2005, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated, "We are not an Islamic party, and we also refuse labels such as Muslim-democrat." Erdoğan went on to say that the AKP's agenda is limited to "conservative democracy". [34]

Hüseyin Çelik Turkish politician

Hüseyin Çelik is a former Minister of National Education of Turkey and member of parliament for Van for the ruling Justice and Development Party.

Western world Countries that identify themselves with an originally European shared culture

The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various nations depending on the context, most often including at least parts of Europe, Australasia, and the Americas, with the status of Latin America disputed by some. There are many accepted definitions, all closely interrelated. The Western world is also known as the Occident, in contrast to the Orient, or Eastern world.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan 12th President of Turkey from 2014

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a Turkish politician serving as the 12th and current President of Turkey since 2014. He previously served as Prime Minister from 2003 to 2014 and as Mayor of Istanbul from 1994 to 1998. He founded the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2001, leading it to general election victories in 2002, 2007 and 2011 before standing down upon his election as President in 2014. Coming from an Islamist political background and as a self-described conservative democrat, he has promoted socially conservative and liberal economic policies in his administration.

The party's foreign policy has also been widely described as Neo-Ottomanist, [35] an ideology that promotes renewed Turkish political engagement in the former territories of its predecessor state, the Ottoman Empire. However, the party's leadership has also rejected this label. [36]

European affiliation

In 2005, the party was granted observer membership in the European People's Party (EPP).

In November 2013, the party left the EPP to join the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists (now Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe) instead. [37] This move was attributed to the AKP's disappointment not to be granted full membership in the EPP, while it was admitted as a full member of the AECR. [38] It drew criticism in both national and European discourses, as the driving force of Turkey's aspirations to become a member of the European Union decided to join a largely eurosceptic alliance, abandoning the more influential pro-European EPP, feeding suspicions that AKP wants to join a watered down, not a closely integrated EU. [39]


Closure cases

The Justice and Development Party has faced two closure cases in its history. Just 10 days before the national elections of 2002, Turkey's chief prosecutor, Sabih Kanadoğlu, asked the Turkish constitutional court to close the Justice and Development Party, which was leading in the polls at that time. The chief prosecutor charged the Justice and Development Party with abusing the law and justice. He based his case on the fact that the party's leader had been banned from political life for reading an Islamist poem, and thus the party had no standing in elections. The European Commission had previously criticised Turkey for banning the party's leader from participating in elections. [40]

The party again faced a closure trial in 2008. At an international press conference in Spain, Erdoğan answered a question of a journalist by saying, "What if the headscarf is a symbol? Even if it were a political symbol, does that give [one the] right to ban it? Could you bring prohibitions to symbols?" These statements led to a joint proposal of the Justice and Development Party and the far-right Nationalist Movement Party for changing the constitution and the law to lift a ban on women wearing headscarves at state universities. Soon afterwards, Turkey's chief prosecutor, Abdurrahman Yalçınkaya, asked the Constitutional Court of Turkey to close down the party on charges of violating the separation of religion and state in Turkey. [41] The closure request failed by only one vote, as only 6 of the 11 judges ruled in favour, with 7 required; however, 10 out of 11 judges agreed that the Justice and Development Party had become "a center for anti-secular activities", leading to a loss of 50% of the state funding for the party. [42]


2002 general elections

The AKP won a sweeping victory in the 2002 elections, which saw every party previously represented in the Grand National Assembly ejected from the chamber. In the process, it won a two-thirds majority of seats, becoming the first Turkish party in 11 years to win an outright majority. Erdoğan, as the leader of the biggest party in parliament, would have been normally given the task to form a cabinet. However according to the Turkish Constitution Article 109 the Prime Ministers had to be also a representative of the Turkish Parliament. Erdagan, who was banned from holding any political office after a 1994 incident in which he read a poem deemed pro-Islamist by judges, was therefore not. As a result, Gül became prime minister. It survived the crisis over the 2003 invasion of Iraq despite a massive back bench rebellion where over a hundred AKP MPs joined those of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) in parliament to prevent the government from allowing the United States to launch a Northern offensive in Iraq from Turkish territory. Later, Erdoğan's ban was abolished with the help of the CHP and Erdoğan became prime minister by being selected to parliament after a by-election in Siirt.

Party leader Erdogan on a poster thanking the people for the election results. AK Party poster after the parliamentary elections in 2007.jpg
Party leader Erdoğan on a poster thanking the people for the election results.

The AKP has undertaken structural reforms, and during its rule Turkey has seen rapid growth and an end to its three decade long period of high inflation rates. Inflation had fallen to 8.8% by 2004.

Influential business publications such as The Economist consider the AKP's government the most successful in Turkey in decades. [43]

2004 local elections

In the local elections of 2004, the AKP won 42% of the votes, making inroads against the secular Republican People's Party (CHP) on the South and West Coasts, and against the Social Democratic People's Party, which is supported by some Kurds in the South-East of Turkey.

In January 2005, the AKP was admitted as an observer member in the European People's Party (EPP). However, it left the EPP to join the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists (AECR) in 2013.

2007 elections

Voter base by monthly household income. AKP is the largest party in group 1, 2, 3 and 4, while CHP is the largest in group 5, the richest 20% of Turkey. Secmenin gelir duzeyine gore oy dagilimi.PNG
Voter base by monthly household income. AKP is the largest party in group 1, 2, 3 and 4, while CHP is the largest in group 5, the richest 20% of Turkey.

On April 14, 2007, an estimated 300,000 people marched in Ankara to protest the possible candidacy of Erdoğan in the 2007 presidential election, afraid that if elected as President, he would alter the secular nature of the Turkish state. [44] Erdoğan announced on April 24, 2007 that the party had decided to nominate Abdullah Gül as the AKP candidate in the presidential election. [45] The protests continued over the next several weeks, with over one million reported at an April 29 rally in Istanbul, [46] [47] tens of thousands reported at separate protests on May 4 in Manisa and Çanakkale, [48] and one million in İzmir on May 13. [49]

Early parliamentary elections were called after the failure of the parties in parliament to agree on the next Turkish president. The opposition parties boycotted the parliamentary vote and deadlocked the election process. At the same time, Erdoğan claimed the failure to elect a president was a failure of the Turkish political system and proposed to modify the constitution.

The AKP achieved victory in the rescheduled July 22, 2007 elections with 46.6% of the vote, translating into control of 341 of the 550 available parliamentary seats. Although the AKP received significantly more votes in 2007 than in 2002, the number of parliamentary seats they controlled decreased due to the rules of the Turkish electoral system. However, they retained a comfortable ruling majority. [22] "No Stopping, Push On!" was the slogan of the Justice and Development Party in the general elections of 2007.

Territorially, the elections of 2007 saw a major advance for the AKP, with the party outpolling the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party in traditional Kurdish strongholds such as Van and Mardin, as well as outpolling the secular-left CHP in traditionally secular areas such as Antalya and Artvin. Overall, the AKP secured a plurality of votes in 68 of Turkey's 81 provinces, with its strongest vote of 71% coming from Bingöl. Its weakest vote, a mere 12%, came from Tunceli, the only Turkish province where the Alevi form a majority. [50] Abdullah Gül was elected President in late August with 339 votes in the third round – the first at which a simple majority is required – after deadlock in the first two rounds, in which a two-thirds majority is needed.

2007 constitutional referendum

A rally of the Justice and Development Party in 2007 Ak parti miting.jpg
A rally of the Justice and Development Party in 2007

After the opposition parties deadlocked the 2007 presidential election by boycotting the parliament, the ruling AKP proposed a constitutional reform package. The reform package was first vetoed by President Sezer. Then he applied to the Turkish constitutional court about the reform package, because the president is unable to veto amendments for the second time. The court did not find any problems in the package and 69% of the voters supported the constitutional changes.

The reforms consisted of:

  • electing the president by popular vote instead of by parliament;
  • reducing the presidential term from seven years to five;
  • allowing the president to stand for re-election for a second term;
  • holding general elections every four years instead of five;
  • reducing the quorum of lawmakers needed for parliamentary decisions from 367 to 184.

2009 local elections

The Turkish local elections of 2009 took place during the financial crisis of 2007–2010. After the success of the AKP in the 2007 general elections, the party saw a decline in the local elections of 2009. In these elections the AKP received 39% of the vote, 3% less than in the local elections of 2004. Still, the AKP remained the dominating party in Turkey. The second party CHP received 23% of the vote and the third party MHP received 16% of the vote. The AKP won in Turkey's largest cities: Ankara and Istanbul. [51]

2010 constitutional referendum

Reforming the Constitution was one of the main pledges of the AKP during the 2007 election campaign. The main opposition party CHP was not interested in altering the Constitution on a big scale, making it impossible to form a Constitutional Commission (Anayasa Uzlaşma Komisyonu). [52] The amendments lacked the two-thirds majority needed to instantly become law, but secured 336 votes in the 550 seat parliament – enough to put the proposals to a referendum. The reform package included a number of issues: such as the right of individuals to appeal to the highest court, the creation of the ombudsman's office, the possibility to negotiate a nationwide labour contract, positive exceptions for female citizens, the ability of civilian courts to convict members of the military, the right of civil servants to go on strike, a privacy law, and the structure of the Constitutional Court. The referendum was agreed by a majority of 58%.

2014 elections

In the presidential election of 2014, the AKP's long time leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was elected President. In the party's first extraordinary congress, former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoğlu was unanimously elected unopposed as party leader and took over as Prime Minister on 28 August 2014. Davutoğlu stepped down as Prime Minister on 4 May 2016 following policy disagreements with President Erdoğan. Presidential aide Cemil Ertem said to Turkish TV that the country and its economy would stabilize further "when a prime minister more closely aligned with President Erdoğan takes office". [53]

2015 general election

In the general election held on 7 June, the AKP gained 40.87% of the vote and 258 seats in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye Büyük Millet Meclisi, TBMM). Though it still remains the biggest party in Turkey, the AKP lost its status as the majority party and the power to form a single-party government. Until then it had held this majority without interruption for 13 years since it had come to power in 2002. Also, in this election, the AKP was pushing to gain 330 seats in the Grand National Assembly so that it could put a series of constitutional changes to a referendum, one of them was to switch Turkey from the current parliamentary government to an American-style executive presidency government. This pursuit met with a series of oppositions and criticism from the opposition parties and their supporters, fearing the measure would give more unchecked power to the current President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has been drawing fierce criticisms both from home and abroad for his active role in the election, abandoning the traditional presidential role of maintaining a more neutral and impartial position in elections by his predecessors in the office. The result of the Kurdish issues-centred Peoples' Democratic Party (Turkey), HDP, breaking through the 10% threshold to achieve 13.12% out of the total votes cast and gaining 80 seats in the Grand National Assembly in this election successfully derailed the AKP from maintaining its hold of power as the majority party and a single-party government as well as enacting a referendum necessary to change the constitution. The AKP is now forced to form a coalition government in negotiation with other parties.

Merger with People's Voice Party

In September 2012, two-year-old conservative-oriented People's Voice Party (HAS Parti) dissolved itself and joined the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) with a majority of its delegates' votes. [54] In July 2012, following long-held speculation that former HSP leader Numan Kurtulmuş was on Prime Minister Erdoğan's mind as his possible successor as party head, Erdoğan personally proposed to Kurtulmuş the idea of merging the parties under the umbrella of the AKP.


Critics have accused the AKP of having a 'hidden agenda' despite their public endorsement of secularism and the party maintains informal relations and support for the Muslim Brotherhood. [55] Both the party's domestic and foreign policy has been perceived to be Pan-Islamist or Neo-Ottoman, advocating a revival of Ottoman culture often at the expense of secular republican principles, [56] while increasing regional presence in former Ottoman territories. [12] [57] [58]

The AKP are staunchly "anti-academic" with many academics, researchers and teachers being sacked from their positions since the failed coup attempt in 2016. An alleged 13,000 tons of textbooks were scrapped and the rest expunged of ‘terrorist’ content. Primary, lower secondary and secondary school students spent most of the first day of school watching videos about the ‘triumph of democracy’ over the coup plotters, and listening to speeches equating the civilian counter-coup that aborted the takeover with historic Ottoman victories going back 1000 years. Campaigns are being organised to release higher education personnel and to drop charges against them for peaceful exercise of academic freedom. [59]

Imprisoning of political activists continue, the chair of Amnesty Turkey has been jailed for standing up to the AKP on trumped up "terrorist charges". These charges have drawn widespread international condemnation, including from the US State Department, the EU and many international and domestic human rights organisations. [60]

Party leaders

ConstituencyTook OfficeLeft OfficeTerm lengthLeadership elections
Erdogan Canakkale (cropped).JPG
Erdoğan, Recep Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
(born 1954)
Siirt (2003)
İstanbul (I) (2007, 2011)
14 August 200127 August 201413 years, 13 days 2003 Ordinary Congress
2006 Ordinary Congress
2009 Ordinary Congress
2012 Ordinary Congress
Secretary Kerry Meets With Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu (2) (cropped).jpg
Davutoğlu, Ahmet Ahmet Davutoğlu
(born 1959)
Konya 27 August 201422 May 20161 year, 269 days 2014 Extraordinary Congress
2015 Ordinary Congress
Binali Yildirim.jpg
Yıldırım, Binali Binali Yıldırım
(born 1955)
İstanbul (I) (2002)
Erzincan (2007)
İzmir (II) (2011)
İzmir (I) (Nov 2015)
22 May 201621 May 2017364 days 2016 Extraordinary Congress
Recep Tayyip Erdogan.jpg
Erdoğan, Recep Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
(born 1954)
Incumbent President21 May 2017Incumbent2 years, 59 days 2017 Extraordinary Congress
2018 Ordinary Congress

Election results

Presidential elections

Presidential election record of the Justice and Development Party (AKP)
ElectionCandidateFirst roundSecond roundOutcomeMap
10 August 2014 Recep Tayyip Erdogan 2017 (cropped).jpg
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
21,000,14351.79%N/AN/AErdoğan elected Turkish presidential election, 2014.png
24 June 2018 Recep Tayyip Erdogan 2017 (cropped).jpg
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
26,324,48252.59%N/AN/AErdoğan elected Turkish presidential election 2018.png

General elections

General election record of the Justice and Development Party (AKP)
     0–10%       10–20%       20–30%       30–40%       40–50%       50–60%       60–70%       70–80%
3 November 2002 Erdogan Canakkale (cropped).JPG
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Turkish general election, 2002 pie chart.png
Parliament of Turkey 2002.svg
363 / 550 (Increase2.svg 363)
Increase2.svg 34.28  pp
AKP majority
AKP 2002 performance.png
22 July 2007 Turkish general election, 2007 pie chart.png
Parliament of Turkey 2007.svg
341 / 550 (Decrease2.svg 22)
Increase2.svg 12.30  pp
AKP majority
AKP 2007 performance.png
12 June 2011 Turkish general election, 2011 pie chart.png
Parliament of Turkey 2011.svg
327 / 550 (Decrease2.svg 14)
Increase2.svg 3.25  pp
AKP majority
AKP 2011 performance.png
7 June 2015 Secretary Kerry Meets With Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu (2) (cropped).jpg
Ahmet Davutoğlu
Turkish general election, June 2015 pie chart.png
Parliament of Turkey June 2015.svg
258 / 550 (Decrease2.svg 69)
Decrease2.svg 8.96  pp
Hung parliament
Turkish general election AKP votes by province.png
1 November 2015 Turkish general election, November 2015 pie chart.png
Parliament of Turkey November 2015.svg
317 / 550 (Increase2.svg 59)
Increase2.svg 8.63 pp
AKP majority
Turkish general election, November 2015 (AKP).png
24 June 2018 Recep Tayyip Erdogan 2017 (cropped).jpg
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Parliament of Turkey 2018.svg
295 / 600 (Decrease2.svg 21)
Decrease2.svg 6.94 pp
AKP-MHP Majority

Local elections

Local election record of the Justice and Development Party (AKP)
28 March 2004 46.07%
12 / 16
1,750 / 3,193
16,637 / 34,477
2,276 / 3,208
Turkish local elections, 2004.png
29 March 2009 42.19%
10 / 16
1,442 / 2,903
14,732 / 32,393
1,889 / 3,281
Turkish local elections, 2009.png
30 March 2014 45.54%
18 / 30
800 / 1,351
10,530 / 20,500
779 / 1,251
Turkish local elections, 2014.png
31 March 2019 44.29%
15 / 30
762 / 1,351
10,175 / 20,500
757 / 1,251
2019 Turkish local election map.png


Election dateParty leaderYes votePercentageNo votePercentageAKP's support
October 21, 2007 Recep Tayyip Erdoğan 19,422,71468.958,744,94731.05Yes
September 12, 2010 Recep Tayyip Erdoğan 21,789,18057.8815,854,11342.12Yes
April 16, 2017 Binali Yıldırım 25,157,02551.4123,777,09148.59Yes



See also

Related Research Articles

Politics of Turkey

The politics of Turkey takes place in a framework of a presidential republic, whereby the President of Turkey is the head of government and the head of state who holds executive powers to issue executive decrees, appoint judges and heads of state institutions.

Nationalist Movement Party nationalist political party in Turkey

The Nationalist Movement Party is a Turkish far-right ultraconservative political party that adheres to Turkish ultranationalism and Euroscepticism.

Ahmet Davutoğlu Turkish politician

Ahmet Davutoğlu is a Turkish academic, politician and former diplomat who was the Prime Minister of Turkey and leader of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) from August 2014 to May 2016. He previously served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2009 to 2014 and as chief advisor to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan from 2003 to 2009. He was elected as an AKP Member of Parliament for Konya in the 2011 general election and was re-elected as an MP in both the June and November 2015 general elections. He resigned as Prime Minister on 22 May 2016.

2007 Turkish general election

The Turkish general election of 2007 was held on July 22, 2007 to elect 550 members to the Grand National Assembly. The election was the 22nd general election to be held in the history of the Turkish Republic and the members elected formed the 23rd Parliament of Turkey.

Millî Görüş Islamic organization

Millî Görüş is a religio-political movement and a series of Islamist parties inspired by Necmettin Erbakan. It has been called one of "the leading Turkish diaspora organizations in Europe" and also described as the largest Islamic organization operating in the West. Founded in 1969, the movement claimed to have "87,000 members across Europe, including 50,000 in Germany," as of 2005. The term also refers to the "religious vision" of the organization that emphasizes the moral and spiritual strength of Islamic faith (Iman) and explains the Muslim world's decline as a result of its imitation of Western values and inappropriate use of Western technology. The Movement is active in nearly all European countries and also countries like Australia, Canada and the United States.

2007 Turkish presidential election

The 2007 Turkish presidential election refers to two attempts to elect the country's 11th president, to succeed Ahmet Necdet Sezer. The most likely candidate for president was Abdullah Gül. Turkey's presidential office is regarded as the guardian of the country's secular system; the fact that Gül's wife wears the Islamic headscarf, as well as his own history in political Islam, turned the elections into a political crisis.

Secularism in Turkey

Secularism in Turkey defines the relationship between religion and state in the country of Turkey. Secularism was first introduced with the 1928 amendment of the Constitution of 1924, which removed the provision declaring that the "Religion of the State is Islam", and with the later reforms of Turkey's first president Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, which set the administrative and political requirements to create a modern, democratic, secular state, aligned with Kemalism.

Republic Protests

The Republic Protests were a series of peaceful mass rallies that took place in Turkey in 2007 in support of a strict principle of state secularism.

2011 Turkish general election general election held on 12 June 2011

Turkey's 17th general election was held on 12 June 2011 to elect 550 new members of Grand National Assembly. In accordance to the result of the constitutional referendum held in 2007, the election was held four years after the previous one instead of five.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the 25th Prime Minister and 12th President of Turkey, was born on February 26, 1954 in Istanbul, Turkey.

The “Turkish model” refers to the focus on Republic of Turkey as "an example of a modern, moderate Muslim state that works." Turkey has been seen as combining a secular state and constitution, with a government run by a political party or political parties with "roots in political Islam". The AKP, led by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has ruled Turkey with a large majority in parliament since 2002. During this time Turkey has had good relations with the West, but also cordial ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran and a more pro-Palestinian policy. It has had vigorously contested, "substantially free and fair" elections, a vibrant culture, and has undergone an economic boom, developing a "large and growing middle class." However, as of summer 2013 and the crushing of the Taksim Gezi Park protests, some commentators complained that the model has come "unstuck".

June 2015 Turkish general election general election held on 7 June 2015

The Turkish general election of June 2015 took place on 7 June 2015 in all 85 electoral districts of Turkey to elect 550 members to the Grand National Assembly. This was the 24th general election in the history of the Turkish Republic, electing the country's 25th Parliament. The result was the first hung parliament since the 1999 general election. Unsuccessful attempts to form a coalition government resulted in a snap general election being called for November 2015.

Conservative democracy political ideology, variant of Islamic democracy

Conservative democracy is a label coined by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Turkey to describe Islamic democracy. Forming as a modernist breakaway party from former Islamist movements, the AKP's conservative democratic ideology has been described as a departure from or moderation of Islamic democracy and the endorsement of more secular and democratic values. The electoral success and the Neo-Ottoman foreign policy of the AKP that aims to broaden Turkey's regional influence has led to the party's conservative democratic ideals to be mirrored in other countries, such as by the Justice and Development Party in Morocco and the Ennahda Movement in Tunisia.

November 2015 Turkish general election

The Turkish general election of November 2015 was held on 1 November 2015 throughout the 85 electoral districts of Turkey to elect 550 members to the Grand National Assembly. It was the 25th general election in the History of the Republic of Turkey and elected the country's 26th Parliament. The election resulted in the Justice and Development Party (AKP) regaining a Parliamentary majority following a 'shock' victory, having lost it five months earlier in the June 2015 general election.

Dengir Mir Mehmet Fırat Turkish politician

Dengir Mir Mehmet Fırat was a Kurdish politician who was one of the founders of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2001. He served as a Member of Parliament for the Grand National Assembly from 1999 to 2011 and again from 2015 to 2018 as a member of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).

İsmail Kahraman Turkish politician

İsmail Kahraman is a Turkish politician from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) who served as the 27th Speaker of the Grand National Assembly from 22 November 2015 to 7 July 2018. He has been the Member of Parliament for İstanbul's first electoral district since 1 November 2015, having previously served as an MP for İstanbul between 1995 and 2002. He also served as Minister of Culture from 1996 to 1997 in the government of Necmettin Erbakan as a member of the Islamist Welfare Party.

Conservatism in Turkey is a national variant of conservatism throughout Turkey reflected in the agendas of many of the country's political parties, most notably the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP), which describes its prevailing ideology as conservative democracy. Elements of Turkish conservatism are also reflected in most parties situated on the political right, including the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). In Turkey, it is often referred to as Türk tipi muhafazakârlık.

Erdoğanism refers to the political ideals and agenda of Turkish President and former Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who became Prime Minister in 2003 and served until his election to the Presidency in 2014. With support significantly derived from charismatic authority, Erdoğanism has been described as the "strongest phenomenon in Turkey since Kemalism" and enjoys broad support throughout the country. Its ideological roots originate from Turkish conservatism and its most predominant political adherent is the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP), a party that Erdoğan himself founded in 2001.

The People's Alliance is an electoral alliance in Turkey, established in February 2018 between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). The alliance was formed to contest the 2018 general election, and brings together the political parties supporting the re-election of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Its main rival was the Nation Alliance, that was created by four opposition parties, which was established on 3 May 2018.


  1. 1 2 "AK PARTİ". yargitaycb.gov.tr. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  2. Hüseyin Şengül. "AKP mi, AK Parti mi?". bianet.org. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  3. Nordsieck, Wolfram (2018). "Turkey". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  4. Tepe, Sultan (2005). "Turkey's AKP: A Model "Muslim-Democratic" Party?". JHU Press: 69–82.
  5. 1 2 "Erdoğan's Triumph". Financial Times . July 24, 2007. The AKP is now a national conservative party — albeit rebalancing power away from the westernised urban elite and towards Turkey's traditional heartland of Anatolia — as well as the Muslim equivalent of Europe's Christian Democrats.[ permanent dead link ]
  6. "AKP yet to win over wary business elite". Financial Times . 8 July 2007.
  7. Cagaptay, Soner (2014). The Rise of Turkey. Potomac Books. p. 117.
  8. Yavuz, M. Hakan (2009). Secularism and Muslim Democracy in Turkey. Cambridge University Press. p. 105.
  9. Abbas, Tahir (2016). Contemporary Turkey in Conflict. Edinburgh University Press.
  10. Bayat, Asef (2013). Post-Islamism. Oxford University Press. p. 11.
  11. Gunes, Cengiz (2013). "The Kurdish Question in Turkey". Routledge: 270.
    Konak, Nahide (2015). Waves of Social Movement Mobilizations in the Twenty-First Century: Challenges to the Neo-Liberal World Order and Democracy. Lexington Books. p. 64.
    Jones, Jeremy (2007). Negotiating Change: The New Politics of the Middle East. I.B. Tauris. p. 219.
  12. 1 2 Osman Rifat Ibrahim. "AKP and the great neo-Ottoman travesty". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  13. Yavuz, M. Hakan (1998). "Turkish identity and foreign policy in flux: The rise of Neo‐Ottomanism". Critique: Critical Middle Eastern Studies. 7 (12): 19–41. doi:10.1080/10669929808720119.
  14. Kardaş, Şaban (2010). "Turkey: Redrawing the Middle East Map or Building Sandcastles?". Middle East Policy. 17: 115–136. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4967.2010.00430.x.
  15. Cook, Steven A. (2012). "Recent History: The Rise of the Justice and Development Party". U.S.-Turkey Relations: A New Partnership to. Council on Foreign Relations: 52.
  16. Göçek, Fatma Müge (2011). "The Transformation of Turkey: Redefining State and Society from the Ottoman Empire to the Modern Era". I.B. Tauris: 56.
    Tocci, Nathalie (2012). "Turkey and the European Union". The Routledge Handbook of Modern Turkey. Routledge: 241.
  17. Soner Cagaptay (2015-10-17). "Turkey's divisions are so deep they threaten its future". Guardian. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  18. "Erdogan faces serious setbacks in Turkish local elections".
  19. "Erdoğan's Triumph". Financial Times . 24 July 2007. The AKP is now a national conservative party — albeit rebalancing power away from the westernised urban elite and towards Turkey's traditional heartland of Anatolia — as well as the Muslim equivalent of Europe's Christian Democrats.
  20. GlobalSecurity.org - Reliable Security Information. "Justice and Development Party (AKP) Adalet ve Kalkinma Parti (AKP)". GlobalSecurity.org - Reliable Security Information. Retrieved 13 December 2017. Others suggest that that around 60 percent of AKP,s supporters were traditional (non-Islamist) conservatives, around 15 percent were Islamist-oriented voters, with the rest mostly swing protest voters upset with corruption in the other parties.
  21. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-11-12. Retrieved 2013-06-02.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  22. 1 2 "New to Turkish politics? Here's a rough primer". Turkish Daily News . 2007-07-22. Archived from the original on 2012-07-08. Retrieved 2008-07-22.
  23. "What you should know about Turkey's AKP-Gulen conflict". Al-Monitor. 3 January 2014. Archived from the original on 24 April 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  24. "Erdoğan's AKP party joins Cameron's conservative political family". EURACTIV.com. 2013-11-13.
  25. "Conservative Eurosceptic alliance reaches out to far-right". Financial Times . 12 November 2018.
  26. Robert Tait (2008-07-30). "Turkey's governing party avoids being shut down for anti-secularism". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  27. "EU delays Turkey membership talks after German pressure". BBC News. 2013-06-25. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
    "Gezi Park protests: The AKP's battle with Turkish society". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  28. Kevin Rawlinson (2014-03-21). "Turkey blocks use of Twitter after prime minister attacks social media site". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
    "Turkey moves to block YouTube access after 'audio leak'". BBC News. 2014-03-27. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
    "Turkey: What's Behind the AKP's New Anti-Abortion Agenda?". EurasiaNet.org. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
    Jenna Krajeski (14 February 2014). "The Last Chance To Stop Turkey's Harsh New Internet Law". The New Yorker. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
    "AKP Wages Jihad Against Alcohol in Turkey". Al-Monitor. 2013-05-23. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  29. "New Turkey and AKP-type capitalism". Today's Zaman. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
    "Mass Murder in Soma Mine: Crony Capitalism and Fetish of Growth in Turkey". politiikasta.fi. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  30. "Presidential system tops AKP's election campaign". Hurriet Daily News. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  31. http://haber.gazetevatan.com/0/122728/4/Yazarlar/73
  32. "Justice and Development Party". Encyclopædia Britannica. Britannica.com. Retrieved 21 July 2014. Unlike its predecessors, the AKP did not centre its image around an Islamic identity; indeed, its leaders underscored that it was not an Islamist party and emphasized that its focus was democratization, not the politicization of religion.
  33. "AKP explains charter changes, slams foreign descriptions". Hürriyet Daily News. Istanbul. 2010-03-28. Retrieved 21 July 2014. In the Western press, when the AKP administration, the ruling party of the Turkish Republic, is being named, unfortunately most of the time Islamic agenda,' and similar language is being used. These characterizations do not reflect the truth, and they sadden us," Çelik said. "Yes, the AKP is a conservative democratic party. The AKP's conservatism is limited to moral and social issues.
  34. Taşpınar, Ömer (April 24, 2012). "Turkey: The New Model?". Brookings Institution.
  35. Taşpınar, Ömer (September 2008). "Turkey's Middle East Policies: Between Neo-Ottomanism and Kemalism". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Retrieved 2010-06-05.
  36. "I am not a neo-Ottoman, Davutoğlu says". Today's Zaman. Turkey. 2009-11-25. Archived from the original on 2013-10-25. Retrieved 2012-01-09.
  37. "Erdoğan's AKP party joins Cameron's conservative political family". EurActiv. 2013-11-13. Retrieved 2015-01-14.
  38. Lagendijk, Joost (2013-11-12). "AKP looking for new European friends". Today's Zaman . Archived from the original on 2015-02-11. Retrieved 2015-01-14.
  39. Yinanç, Barçin (2013-11-19). "By abandoning conservatives AKP helps anti-Turkey bloc in EU". Hürriyet Daily News . Retrieved 2015-01-14.
  40. "Turkey mulls banning leading party before elections". EurActiv. October 23, 2002. Retrieved February 15, 2011.
  41. Gungor, Izgi (2008-07-22). "From landmark success to closure: AKP's journey". Turkish Daily News . Retrieved 2008-08-11.[ permanent dead link ]
    "Closure case against ruling party creates shockwaves". Today's Zaman . 2008-03-15. Archived from the original on 2008-04-21. Retrieved 2008-11-16.
    "Full text of testimony". Milliyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 2008-09-04.
  42. Today's Zaman , 19 August 2013, AKP to ask for retrial by Constitutional Court Archived 2013-08-20 at the Wayback Machine
  43. "The battle for Turkey's soul (Democracy v secularism in Turkey)". The Economist . 2007-05-03. Archived from the original on an unspecified date. Retrieved 2008-07-22.Check date values in: |archivedate= (help)
  44. "Secular rally targets Turkish PM," BBC News, April 14, 2007.
  45. "Turkey's ruling party announces FM Gul as presidential candidate," Xinhua, April 24, 2007.
  46. "More than one million rally in Turkey for secularism, democracy". Agence France-Presse . Retrieved 2007-04-29.[ permanent dead link ]
  47. "One million Turks rally against government". Reuters. 2007-04-29. Retrieved 2007-04-30.
  48. "Saylan: Manisa mitingi önemli". Milliyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 2007-05-04.
  49. "Turks protest ahead of early elections". Swissinfo . Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-13.
  50. "Turkey: 22 July 2007 – Election Results". BBC Turkish. 2007-07-23. Retrieved 2008-07-22.
  51. "Turkish local elections, 2009". NTV-MSNBC. 2009-03-29. Archived from the original on 2009-03-29. Retrieved 2009-03-29.|section= ignored (help)
  52. "AKP'nin Anayasa hedefi 15 madde". NTVMSNBC. 2009-02-17. Retrieved 2009-02-17.
  53. "Turkey PM Ahmet Davutoğlu to quit amid reports of Erdoğan rift". BBC News. BBC. 2016-05-05. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  54. "HSP dissolves itself as its leader plans to join the ruling party". Hurriet Daily News. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  55. "Turkey: AKP's Hidden Agenda or a Different Vision of Secularism?". Nouvelle Europe. 2011-04-07. Retrieved 7 June 2015. "The "Hidden" That Never Was". Reflections Turkey. Retrieved 7 June 2015.[ permanent dead link ]
    "Support for Muslim Brotherhood isolates Turkey". Die Weld. Retrieved 7 June 2015.Ömer Taşpınar (1 April 2012). "Islamist Politics in Turkey: The New Model?". The Brookings Institution. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  56. Öztürk, Ahmet Erdi (2016-10-01). "Turkey's Diyanet under AKP rule: from protector to imposer of state ideology?". Southeast European and Black Sea Studies. 16 (4): 619–635. doi:10.1080/14683857.2016.1233663. ISSN   1468-3857.
  57. "Düşünmek Taraf Olmaktır". taraf.com.tr. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  58. "AKP'li vekil: Osmanlı'nın 90 yıllık reklam arası sona erdi". Cumhuriyet Gazetesi. 15 January 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
    "İslami Analiz".
  59. "Turkey's War Against the Academics". 2017-06-30.
  60. "Taner Kılıç released on bail".
  61. "AK PARTİ TÜZÜĞÜ" [AK PARTİ STATUTES](PDF) (in Turkish). Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi. Retrieved 2014-09-23.
  62. "Less than white?". The Economist . 2008-09-18. Retrieved 2008-09-22.
    "AK Parti mi, AKP mi? (AK Parti or AKP?)". Habertürk (in Turkish). 2009-06-05. Retrieved 2009-08-10.
  63. Ebru Toktar and Ersin Bal. "Laiklik anlayışlarımız farklı" Archived 2011-05-12 at the Wayback Machine ‹See Tfd› (in Turkish). Akşam, 2008-05-07.