The impact of the AKP on human rights in Turkey

One step forward, two steps back

Authored by: Turan Kayaoglu

Routledge Handbook on Human Rights and the Middle East and North Africa

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138807679
eBook ISBN: 9781315750972
Adobe ISBN: 9781317613763


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The Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP), a moderate Islamist party, has ruled Turkey since 2002. The party emerged as a splinter party from the (Islamist) Virtue Party in 2001, which was dissolved by the Turkish Constitutional Court for alleged anti-secular activities and some of its leaders were banned from politics. Frustrated with the old guard, the Virtue’s Young Turks established the AKP. The new party won three subsequent elections and ruled Turkey from 2002 to 2015 – the period focused on in this chapter – in a single-party government. In 2015, the party lost its majority, but still remained the biggest party in parliament.

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