This book aims at exploring the logic of political survival in Turkish politics studying the case of the AKP and using evidence from elite interviews, party documents, public speeches, and developments and changes for exploring AKP’s political survival in the chapters. These evidences indicate that there are four independent variables of dependent variable which is AKP’s political survival; -- the legitimization of AKP’s conservatism (2002-2007), AKP’s power struggle with Kemalist elites (2007-2011), AKP’s populism and authoritarianism (2011-2014) and the instrumentalization of Islamism and nationalism under Erdogan’s leadership (2014-2018) -- within the AKP’s four terms. In other words, this research offers a cause-and-effect mechanism between the four different policy approaches of the AKP’s four periods and the AKP’s political survival. Indeed, the AKP has been the most successful political party at the point of ensuring political survival throughout its 16-year rule. In the literature, there are few studies analyzing the 16-year rule of AKP government integrally. As a result of this limitation, the original contribution of this research is that it offers a holistic approach of the AKP government between 2002 and 2018 with using the concept of political survival which is not explored for the AKP case in the literature.
Çağlar Ezikoğlu is assistant professor in the department of political science and public administration at the Çankırı Karatekin University
Chapter 1: The Concept of Political Survival
Chapter 2: The Legitimization of AKP’s Conservatism in Turkish Politics
Chapter 3: The Power Struggle Between AKP and Kemalist Secular Elites
Chapter 4: The Rise of Populism and Authoritarianism under the AKP Rule
Chapter 5: The Instrumentalization of Islamism and Nationalism under Erdogan’s Leadership
“While understanding Turkish politics under the AKP rule has become a puzzle, there has been a significant surge of debates in the recent literature. Dr Ezikoglu’s research makes a novel contribution to these debates by analyzing the causal relations between the logic of the AKP’s political survival and the changes of internal politics in Turkey. His systematic research of four terms of AKP rule between 2002 and 2018 is the first to offer an integrated approach to explain why the AKP has been the most successful political party in ensuring political survival for almost two decades, and offers a cause-and-effect mechanism to help the readers to solve the puzzle. This book makes a valuable contribution to the literature on Turkish domestic politics in understanding the political survival of AKP governance.”