Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi
The Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (short name: AKP or AK Parti ), Turkish for Party for Justice and Recovery (or "Party for Justice and Development") is a nationally conservative and right-wing populist political party in Turkey . When it was founded in 2001, it had a conservative- democratic orientation according to its own program and, despite the corresponding perception, refused to be classified as “ Muslim- democratic”. According to observers, however, the AKP government under Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is leading to a stronger re-Islamization of society in Turkey. In addition, the party is charged with ruling the country with ever-increasing authoritarianism . She has been a close ally of the Muslim Brotherhood since the 2010s .
With 290 members (as of November 3, 2019), the AKP is the strongest group in the Turkish parliament . It is organized in all 81 provincial associations, since 2018 the AKP has been part of the “ People's Alliance ” electoral alliance with the right-wing extremist party of the Nationalist Movement (MHP), with which it has the majority in parliament. Their motto is "Turkey is ready to meet the 2023 target" (Türkiye hazır, hedef 2023) .
Development of the party
The AKP was founded on August 14, 2001 in Afyonkarahisar by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan , Abdullah Gül , Bülent Arınç , the later Minister of Education, Nimet Çubukçu, and other politicians from various parties.
The core of the party was formed by the reform wing of the Islamist Virtue Party (FP), including people like Abdullah Gül and Bülent Arınç. A second founding group consisted of members of the liberal-conservative Motherland Party (ANAP) such as Cemil Çiçek and Abdülkadir Aksu . Some members of the liberal right wing party (DYP), including Hüseyin Çelik and Köksal Toptan , also joined the AKP. Others like Kürşad Tüzmen had a nationalist background. Erdoğan also managed to get the “community” (cemaat) Fethullah Gülens on board. The education and media empire he has created consists of several thousand private schools and several universities inside and outside Turkey, kindergartens, shared apartments for students and influential media. Members of the Muslim left , on the other hand, were largely excluded.
Parliamentary elections 2002
In the early parliamentary elections in 2002, the AKP won an absolute majority of the seats with 34.26% of the vote. Only the Republican People's Party (CHP) made it into parliament with it.
The former mayor of Istanbul Erdoğan was initially unable to take over the office of prime minister because he had been sentenced to prison in 1998 for publicly quoting the following verse and had been banned from running for parliament for life .
According to the legal situation at the time, however, only MPs could be elected Prime Minister. Erdoğan's deputy, Abdullah Gül , first became Prime Minister, until Erdoğan was able to take up this post on March 11, 2003 after a constitutional amendment and by-election. Gül was appointed foreign minister.
General election 2007
On May 3, 2007, the parliament decided to bring the general election forward and hold it on July 22, 2007.
On May 7, 2007, Parliament passed the following reform package :
- the president is elected directly by the people for 5 years; re-election is possible once.
- The parliamentary term of office was shortened from 5 to 4 years.
- The minimum number of MPs present in Parliament should be one third (184) for each meeting and election; A simple majority of the votes of the parliamentarians present is sufficient for decisions, as long as this is not less than a quarter (138) of all members.
The AKP received 46.6 percent of the vote and thus an absolute majority in the election. With 341 members in the 549-seat parliament, she was again able to rule alone. However, compared to the last election, the AKP lost a few seats despite a vote increase of twelve percentage points, as three instead of two parties are represented in the new parliament. So far, only the Democratic Party (DP) under the leadership of Adnan Menderes has been able to increase its share of the vote in Turkey in the 1954 election and thus form the government for a second time.
The former general secretary of the CHP, Ertuğrul Günay , ran as a candidate for the AKP and was elected as a member of parliament. He got the post of Minister of Culture and Tourism. Haluk Özdalga, also a former member of the CHP, switched to the AKP. The constitutional lawyer Zafer Üskül and the economist Mehmet Şimşek ran for the AKP. Leading names from the Alevi camp were also represented on the AKP's electoral lists in this election. The Alevi journalist and scientist Reha Çamuroğlu is the best-known example. Members of religious minorities voted in this election by a majority for the AKP, as they expected from it a democratization of the authoritarian state apparatus and a development towards European values than from the secular-nationalist CHP, which in the election campaign mainly used nationalist slogans against the USA and EU and against minorities within Turkey for votes. This changed in the years that followed, as the Erdoğan's government became increasingly authoritarian. The election victory opened up new opportunities for the party to weaken the influence of the old Kemalist elites in state administration and the military and to implement “Islamic” reforms such as the lifting of the headscarf ban at universities (see below).
2007 presidential election
Abdullah Gül ran for president as a candidate for the ruling AKP party. After the parliamentary election failed due to the quorum, the constitutional court declared the ballot invalid and after a memorandum by the armed forces and several large-scale demonstrations for secularism with millions of participants, Gül withdrew his candidacy. On August 14, 2007 Gül announced his renewed candidacy for the office of President in the election scheduled for August 20. Gül was elected president in the third ballot.
Parliamentary election 2011
For the 2011 parliamentary election , which did not have to be brought forward for the first time in 34 years, the AKP ran with the aim of achieving a two-thirds majority in order to carry out constitutional changes on its own. This did not succeed despite the third increase in votes in a row. Overall, with 49.8% of the vote, 327 AKP MPs made it into parliament , which was due to changes in the electoral districts and the better results of the two other parties that were able to overcome the threshold of ten percent ( CHP and MHP ), fewer AKP MPs than previously meant. Only in three of the 81 provinces did the party not get a mandate ( Hakkâri , Iğdır and Tunceli ).
2014 presidential election
In 2014 , for the first time in the history of Turkey, the president could be directly elected by the people. The previous Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan , ran for the AKP and won the election with 51.8% of the vote after the first round. Especially areas in Central Anatolia and provinces on the Black Sea coast decided (as expected) for him.
General election June 7th 2015
The election to the 25th parliament brought the AKP and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu a loss of votes for the first time in their history. This result also meant that the party lost its absolute majority, which it had held since 2002. For this election, the AKP again set the goal of achieving the long-pursued two-thirds majority, which was one of the most formative elements of the election campaign. After the 45 days after the election (provided for by the constitution) there was no coalition, which is why new elections were called. This brought the AKP a parliamentary majority and 49.5% of the vote. Representatives of the Council of Europe and the OSCE considered the election to be unfair, addressing above all the violence before the election and the partisan reporting by the state media.
General election November 1st, 2015
In the parliamentary elections in November 2015, the AKP won the absolute majority of votes with 49.5% of the votes and was thus able to provide the government alone.
Constitutional referendum 2017
On April 16, there was a referendum on constitutional amendments . This was initiated by the AKP together with the MHP , who were authorized to do so with their joint three-fifths majority. At the election, the voters decided whether 69 articles of the constitution should be changed. The main aim was to bundle executive powers and to have more influence over the judiciary in the hands of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan . This was accompanied by a change in the form of government from a parliamentary system of government to a presidential system. The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe warned in advance of a “personal regime” and spoke of the danger of sliding into a dictatorial system. In addition, OSCE election observers complained in the run-up to the arrest of numerous journalists and members of the opposition as well as intimidation and threats against the “no” camp.
On the (late) evening of election day, the High Election Committee declared the “yes camp” the winner with 51.41%. The opposition (CHP, HDP, parts of the MHP) spoke of electoral fraud on the evening of the election and referred to the High Election Committee , which on the (early) election day declared ballot papers and envelopes without such stamps to be valid. With this, up to three million votes in favor of the “yes camp” were brought about. Research results from Viennese statisticians from the Complexity Science Hub Vienna also suggest that the election was decided by electoral fraud .
The major cities of the country such as Istanbul , Ankara and Antalya were noteworthy , although they are governed by the AKP, but did not find a majority for a constitutional amendment. As a result (a few months later) Erdoğan spoke publicly about "fatigue" in the party and the renewals that needed to be made. In the course of this, the mayors of the cities of Istanbul, Ankara and Bursa resigned.
In 2018, both parliamentary and presidential elections took place on June 24th. Erdoğan took office as incumbent president , but this time with the support of the Party of the Nationalist Movement (MHP) as part of their so-called People's Alliance . Erdoğan prevailed in the first round with 52.6% of the vote and thus became the first president under the new presidential system. In the elections to the national parliament that took place at the same time , the AKP also stood in its alliance with the MHP and suffered losses of almost seven percent, but together with the MHP (which also recorded slight losses), it was able to provide the majority of the MPs in parliament.
Local election 2019
For the local elections held on March 31, 2019 , the AKP again agreed a cooperation with the MHP, which covered 51 provinces and numerous districts. The AKP candidates in 27 of the 30 major cities in the country were supported by the MHP by not nominating their own candidates. In return, the AKP did not run for mayor elections in Manisa , Adana and Mersin, among others . Although the AKP itself was able to record a nationwide increase in votes with 44.31%, it lost numerous large cities to the CHP. These include the capital Ankara and the tourist metropolis Antalya . Furthermore, seven cities were lost to the alliance partner MHP. In Istanbul , Turkey's largest city, the AKP (or its candidate Binali Yıldırım ) also lost to the CHP, but was able to cancel the election and thus have it repeated. The redial took place on June 23, 2019. This re-election resulted in a clear victory for CHP candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu .
Results of parliamentary elections
|Election year||be right||proportion of||MPs|
The emergence of the AKP is closely linked to the emergence of a new, religious-bourgeois class of Anatolian origin and the emergence of an intellectual elite outside state control. The AKP defines its position in the area of tension between two opposing forces: the Islamist and authoritarian movement Erbakans and the representatives of secularism within the state bureaucracy, the military and the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Initially, the AKP met with great distrust in western countries and among Turkish intellectuals, as Erdoğan's career is closely linked to Necmettin Erbakan's Milli Görüş movement and its political organization, the Welfare Party (RP), and its successor, the Virtue Party (FP). Meanwhile, however, declared sympathizers of the AKP have also expressed their concerns, for example the columnist Mustafa Akyol, who warns of the party's increasing authoritarianism.
The AKP initially rejected ideological politics and made no official demands on the basis of Islam . Despite its perception as an Islamist party, the AKP kept Islam in the background and marginalized the debate about the political role of Islam. The party's ideology, practice, and rhetoric reduced Islam to a set of traditional values that were officially limited to privacy. Critics claim the exact opposite. B. the journalist Aydın Fındıkçı in the world . According to him, the AKP is working on a complete Islamization and totalization of Turkey.
The AKP is now working to ensure that the spectrum of Islamic beliefs is expressed in public life. In 2004 the AKP government wanted to make adultery a criminal offense by law, but had to refrain from it again due to the great opposition of the Turkish public. This bill is seen by critics as a concession to Islamist voters.
The AKP tried to put an end to the headscarf ban at universities, which it believes undermines important individual rights such as freedom of religion and prevents many religious women from advancing their careers. This was rejected by the CHP opposition as an attack on the secular essence of the Turkish constitution. The latter therefore appealed to the Constitutional Court. In 2007 the Constitutional Court declared the lifting of the headscarf ban to be incompatible with the secular principle of the constitution. In 2010, the Yök University Council, Turkey’s most important university authority, issued a circular: “Students may no longer be excluded from classes if they violate the dress code. This means that the headscarf ban, which applies to all public buildings in strictly secular Turkey, remains officially a regulation, but in practice, female students are now allowed to wear what they want. ”With this, women could now even take part in class with a niqab veiled.
Turkish education policy has changed dramatically after the AKP's third election victory. The minimum age for teaching the Koran has been reduced to three years and the requirements for teachers in this area have been reduced, so that imams trained in Saudi Arabia are now also allowed to raise the children. In addition to the existing compulsory subject religion, three new electives, the Koran , Arabic and the life of the prophet Mohammed, were introduced. As part of the reform, graduates from religious academies have been given the same status as those from schools in the humanities and natural sciences in terms of admission to universities. Critics fear that Islamists without a sound basis in the elementary humanities would become state officials and could change the state apparatus within a generation. As part of the school reform, there are now also secondary schools in addition to the religious grammar schools, the so-called İmam-Hatip schools . In Istanbul alone, 76 middle schools were converted for this purpose.
The Turkish parliament has given Erdoğan censorship powers for the media through the votes of the AKP faction. This law, which was upheld by the Constitutional Court in March 2013, gives the Turkish Prime Minister, if he considers “national security” or “public order” to be disrupted, the possibility of prohibiting any publication in this context. He can also grant censorship powers to individual ministers.
Under the ACP governments, the judiciary was reformed with 1682 new laws. The legal system, the constitution and individual laws were renewed in eight reform packages by 2013. These include such important changes as the permission for minorities to purchase real estate and the publication of publications in languages other than Turkish as well as the principle of putting EU law before national law. Nevertheless, according to judge Orhan Gazi Ertekin from the Association for a Democratic Justice, this did not result in any right . The lawyer Turgut Tarhanli from Bilgi University commented: "The victims of yesterday are creating a new policy of exception, namely for themselves, for their own interests, i.e. for the AKP." Aydın Doğan from the Association for Human Rights criticized the Turkish legal situation as follows: “In Turkey, the laws passed as part of the accession process are seen as a showcase. They are like the living room that you take strangers into to show them what a beautiful lifestyle you have. In the rest of the apartment it looks completely different. ”According to the journalist Karen Krüger from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , the anti-terror law in particular is the basis for prosecuting thousands of politicians, activists and journalists - sometimes only because of written or oral statements. According to the FAZ, the reform of the anti-terror law has not improved the flexible interpretation of terrorism and the situation regarding freedom of expression.
The basis of the legal status of minorities in Turkey are the so-called minority protection articles 37-44 in Section 3 of the first part of the Lausanne Treaty , the provisions of which have the same legal force as the Turkish constitution. Although the minorities are not listed in detail, in practice the minority protection provisions are only applied - if at all - to those ethno-religious groups that were already considered to be a "nation of faith" (Millet) during the Ottoman rule , i.e. to Jews , Greek and Orthodox as well as Armenian Apostolic . For the 2018 parliamentary elections, the AKP entered into an electoral alliance with the far-right MHP, which is known for its anti-Kurdish stance.
For demographic reasons, the non-Muslim voters in Turkey do not represent a size that has been taken into account by the popular parties. Non-Muslims make up just 0.2% of the population. Of these, in turn, only some are entitled to vote. Until 2002 it was unusual for non-Muslim voters to vote for Islamic parties, as the parties from the Millî Görüş movement made use of anti-Semitic, anti-Christian and anti-secular rhetoric, which, however, was sometimes also cultivated by Kemalists and nationalists. The CHP was also viewed with skepticism by non-Muslim voters because of its responsibility for its oppression between 1923 and 1945. Although the AKP also comes from the milieu of the Milli Görüs movement, it initially turned away from anti-Semitic and anti-secular resentment and took politically controversial steps that gave the minorities hope.
In 2004 the AKP abolished the secret decree of the then Prime Minister Erdoğan, the minority commission Azınlıklar Tali Komisyonu , which was founded in 1962 to “control” the Christian minorities in particular , and replaced it with a commission that developed solutions to the problems of Minorities in Turkey should develop. According to the editor-in-chief of the Greek community newspaper " Apoyevmatini ", Mihail Vasiliadis, and Zeki Basatemir of the Syrian Catholic Church , the AKP had won the trust of the minorities at the time of the 2007 parliamentary elections. According to Vasiliadis, the minorities overall felt better treated by the AKP government than by previous governments. Basatemir even thought the AKP was "capable of solving our problems."
There are contradicting reports about the voting behavior of Jewish Turks . Jews belonging to the wealthy class tended to favor the AKP because of their liberal economic policies. According to other reports, Jewish voters leaned more towards the CHP because they were concerned about the existence of the lay republic under the AKP.
The AKP pursued a contradicting policy towards the minority of Armenian descent . It was partly shaped by efforts to reconcile and partly by repression in questions of religious self-determination. The then Prime Minister Erdoğan expressed his condolences to the Armenians in 2014, on the anniversary of the beginning of the systematic persecution and extermination of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, as the first ever Turkish head of government, after the then Foreign Minister Davutoğlu had previously carried out the deportations on the occasion of a visit to the Armenian capital Erewan as "mistake" and "inhuman". For the first time in the history of the Turkish Republic, the journalist Etyen Mahçupyan became the main advisor to a Turkish prime minister under the AKP, which was viewed by the public as a hopeful step. Journalist Markar Esayan , also a Turk of Armenian descent, ran for the AKP in the elections on June 7, 2015 . The Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople , Mesrop Mutafyan , declared in 2007 that the Armenians of Turkey prefer the AKP to the CHP. The AKP is more straightforward and less nationalistic in dealing with minorities. The Erdoğan government has an open ear for the Turkish Armenians . According to the Armenian Turkologist Ruben Melkonian, the majority of the Turks of Armenian descent tended towards the AKP, as this is the lesser evil compared to Kemalists and militant nationalists. In 2011 Erdogan had the 35 meter high monument İnsanlık Abidesi by Mehmet Aksoy , which was built for friendship between Armenians and Turks, demolished.
The General Directorate for pious foundations , which is responsible for the religious and theological infrastructure of non-Muslim communities (such as churches, monasteries and seminaries), has distinguished itself in the past with a policy that was perceived as draconian. The legal basis of the General Directory was reformed by the AKP in 2006, 2008 and 2011. According to observers, however, this has not resulted in any substantial improvement in the situation of non-Muslim minorities. Religious communities can only reclaim seized property if it has not yet been sold to third parties by the General Management. The communities only have one year to apply for reimbursement before any claims expire.
The AKP's term of office also included the murder of the Catholic priest Andrea Santoro in Trabzon and the journalist Hrant Dink of Armenian origin in Istanbul by the right-wing extremists Ogün Samast and Yasin Hayal , whose background and political involvement have not yet been fully clarified, as well as the murder of three Christians in Malatya , whose motive was given as missionary activity.
In economic policy, the AKP relies on liberalization and free trade with the EU. Foreign policy was initially emphatically pro-European. In this way the conflicts with Greece and Cyprus were defused. In the meantime, Erdoğan's Turkish government is initially turning more and more towards the Islamic world - especially Syria , Iran and Saudi Arabia - and is increasingly coming into conflict with Israel , a historical ally of Turkey, and now also with Syria and Iran.
Under the Erdoğan government, which actively sought Turkey's accession to the EU , numerous laws and positions were changed that had stood in the way of Turkey's accession negotiations with the European Union or EU membership. The death penalty was abolished and the state broadcaster TRT-6 was founded, which broadcasts continuously in Kurdish . The role of the National Security Council has been limited by the 2001 reforms. In the composition, the civilians now predominate with 7: 5. The Security Council is only making recommendations and the Secretary-General is a civilian for the first time.
Relationship with Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood
The relationship between the AKP and the Muslim Brotherhood can be divided into a period before and after the military coup in Egypt . The Muslim Brotherhood and the AKP are viewed as two fundamentally different Islamisms in terms of the context in which they emerged, the actor profile, the original ideological and strategic orientation of the movements as well as the political landscapes and different degrees of secularization.
With the generation change in the Muslim Brotherhood and the gradual abandonment of the ideas of the founding generation around Hasan al-Bannā , the ideological differences between it and the AKP became ever smaller. The ever closer ties between the two movements are also reflected in the fact that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has given their political party a name that some observers reminds of that of the AKP. A common feature of both movements was also shown in the political practice of rejecting the questioning of political decisions with reference to winning elections. According to observers, this may be the case. a. based on the fact that Islamist movements such as For example, the AKP and the Muslim Brotherhood have not yet developed a solid understanding of the importance of pluralistic dimensions in a democracy .
After the military coup in Egypt , the AKP positioned itself as the clear and loudest opponent of the Egyptian leadership under Abd al-Fattah as-Sisi and openly takes sides with the Muslim Brotherhood. The AKP organized protests in front of Egyptian diplomatic missions, during which the chairman of the AKP youth, Abdurrahim Boynukalın, presented the death sentences for the leaders of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood as a vehicle to “protect the interests of Western and imperialist powers”. Prime Minister Erdoğan, who repeatedly used the R4bia hand sign in speeches as a symbol of his support for Mohammed Morsi, referred to as-Sissi in a speech near his hometown of Rize and said that for "every pharaoh there is a Moses" who will end it will prepare. At the same time, he assessed the removal of Morsi as part of a development that was controlled by forces that wanted to prevent a strong Turkey in the region.
In the two years before the coup, the AKP government had increased its support for Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. Therefore, she sees Morsi's fall as a threat to her influence in the region. According to observers, the AKP government is accepting a worsening of Turkey's relations with the international community in its political struggle to ostracize the Egyptian military regime.
Protests against the AKP government
In 2007 there were organized large- scale demonstrations (Cumhuriyet mitingleri) in various cities in Turkey . These protests, in which a noticeably large number of women took part, were directed against the Islamization of Turkey by the ruling AKP. The demonstrators also spoke out in favor of Kemalist secularism as part of the Turkish constitution.
The violent repression of the AKP government against demonstrators in May 2013 sparked a wave of protests that had not been seen in the history of the Republic of Turkey . At the beginning of the protests it was first against the building of a shopping center in Gezi Park , but then it was increasingly directed against the AKP's style of government, which the demonstrators perceived as authoritarian. Mass protests and riots took place almost across the country, with five dead and thousands injured.
Allegation of Islamization
Although the AKP portrays itself as a reformist center-right party, there is, according to political and Turkish scholars, "serious evidence" of an "Islamist agenda" of the AKP. The EU declared that under Erdogan's conservative AKP government there was no progress with regard to fundamental rights, but instead freedom of expression was restricted, especially with regard to religion, and that the courts did not judge neutrally (mostly pro-Islamist). An article in Die Welt reports on how a “suffocating Muslim social matrix” developed in the Turkish province under the AKP administration, in which Western-oriented Turks were economically and socially disadvantaged and their freedom was threatened.
Controversial youth protection plans
The AKP came under fire because of a draft law drafted by the deputy party chairman Edibe Sözen on the protection of minors , which provided that buyers of pornography would in future be registered by the state. Prayer rooms should also be set up in all school buildings, and internet cafés should be banned for young people under the age of 18. A statement by the minister caused astonishment, also abroad, that this draft law is based on Germany's youth protection law and will be implemented as part of the legislative adjustments to the EU. A storm of indignation from the opposition and the media caused their party to distance itself from the bill.
Compulsion to take religious instruction
The AKP-led Ministry of Education has introduced compulsory Islamic religious instruction in state schools. Students who are not of Islamic faith must also take part in Islamic classes. Since the state-prescribed religious education only deals with Sunni-Hanefi doctrine, the estimated 12.5 million Turkish Alevis in particular , who belong to a Shiite teaching of Islam , feel discriminated against by the AKP. A group of 10 people who protested against the compulsory Sunni religious education in Çorum in 2011 were brought to a court in February 2012 , according to CNN Türk . The Alevi communities organized nationwide protests in which many non-Alevi and AKP-critical Turks took part. Even non-Alevi, pro-Western and secular circles are protesting against this regulation. On September 16, 2014, the European Court of Human Rights announced that this regulation violated Article 2 of Protocol No. 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights. According to a report by Welt on September 21, 2014, the AKP-led government was unimpressed by this and declared that it wanted to continue the practice.
Under the AKP government, alcohol consumption has repeatedly been the subject of restrictions. Alcoholic drinks are no longer served at state receptions or in canteens and cafes by ministries and authorities. AKP mayors in Istanbul and Ankara have banned alcohol in community-run cafes and restaurants with reference to family values. Between 2002 and 2008 the tax on wine tripled. During the same period, the number of licenses for serving alcohol fell from 13,000 to 9,000. In addition, reference is made to media reports according to which AKP-led city administrations are putting pressure on alcohol-serving establishments. The then Prime Minister Erdoğan stated that his party's alcohol policy was that the constitution ordered alcohol to be kept under control. Alcohol is the cause of many problems and the "mother of all evil", according to Erdoğan.
Restriction of the freedom of the press
According to Reporters Without Borders , Turkey ranked 99th in the world in terms of press freedom in 2002. After ten years of AKP rule, Turkey fell to 154th on the list. In 2020 Turkey ranks 154th.
According to a report by the Turkish daily Sözcü from 2011, 61 journalists are said to have been imprisoned under the AKP government, legal proceedings are said to have been opened against a further 2,000 journalists and investigations are alleged to have been carried out against 4,000 journalists. The newspaper also compared the events surrounding press freedom under the AKP government with the military coup in Turkey in 1980 . Uğur Dündar , a well-known journalist in Turkey , said he was afraid. The US State Department has expressed concern about the waves of arrests against Turkish journalists, and EU Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle has called on the Turkish government to protect freedom of the press. Ahmet Abakay , chairman of the Association of Contemporary Journalists, said: "Under the pretext of investigating coupists, all opposition authors, journalists and satirists are gradually being threatened." The news chief of the left-liberal daily Radikal , Ertugrul Mavioglu, compared the events under the AKP Government in Turkey even with the McCarthy era .
After the US author Paul Auster refused to present his new book published there in protest to over 100 journalists imprisoned in Turkey, he is in a speech by Bülent Gediklis , the deputy head of the AKP, in the Turkish parliament as a member of a world conspiracy against Turkey been accused. This conspiracy, which Gedikli referred to as the “ Neocon - Ergenekon Brotherhood”, would also include Angela Merkel , Nicolas Sarkozy and, as the head of it all, Israeli President Shimon Peres .
Reporters Without Borders wrote the following about the current situation in Turkey: “Turkey is one of the countries with the most imprisoned journalists in the world. After the attempted coup in July 2016, well over 100 journalists were arrested, around 150 media outlets were closed and more than 700 press cards were canceled. Critical journalists are under general suspicion. The few remaining independent media outlets work in constant fear. Foreign journalists were repeatedly denied accreditation or denied entry. In addition, the political and economic entanglements of many important media owners stifle critical reporting in the bud. "
Attack on Dogan Media Group and Zaman
In addition to legal vehicles, the AKP also uses other methods to intimidate and silence media that are critical of it. On the night of September 7, 2015, 200 angry AKP supporters under the leadership of the head of the AKP youth organization, the Istanbul parliamentarian Abdurrahim Boynukalın , attacked the editorial building of the government-critical daily Hürriyet after a tweet in the newspaper contained a statement by Erdoğan tore. MP Boynukalın gave a speech recorded on video and broadcast nationwide in front of the mob armed with iron bars, in which he said:
“From now on there is no longer any difference between HDP and PKK, PKK and Zaman , as well as Zaman and Aydın Doğan [note: publisher of Hürriyet]. They are all terrorist organizations. […] By appearing here today, you are not only saying that you are members of the AKP Youth and AKP Istanbul, but also brothers of all martyrs in the Ummah territories , of all our brothers, in Syria, in Iraq, in Myanmar and all oppressed people. May Allah be pleased with you. With Allah's permission, not only Aydın Dogan's media, but also his HDP and PKK, all of his terrorist organizations and first of all his terrorist Gülen movement will go and disappear after we have appointed the president. "
The Hürriyet then created criminal charges against the youth organization of the AKP and against Boynukalın personally. On September 8, 2015, just two days later, there was another attack on the editorial building by approx. 100 people. Some armed again with iron bars wreaked havoc. There are no known disciplinary measures taken against Boynukalin by the AKP. On September 12, 2015, he was elected by the delegates to the leadership of the party congress at the AKP party congress. A few days after the incident, a video was made public in which Boynukalın recounts the events and says that it was a mistake not to give the Hürriyet journalists a beating early on. When asked about the recording, the Turkish Prime Minister Davutoğlu said in an interview that, although he does not approve of such statements, it was not a deliberate statement and the conversation should be viewed as a friendly conversation among young people.
Since the attempted coup in 2016 , the torture of critics of Erdoğan and the AKP has increased massively in Turkey, as Human Rights Watch showed in a report published in October 2017. According to this, people who are accused of having participated in that coup attempt or of having supported it, or who are generally referred to as "terrorists" by the government, are at great risk of being tortured. The HRW report shows eleven detailed cases and speaks of sexual harassment , rape , beatings and forced nudity of those affected.
Law enforcement and litigation
Prohibition proceedings for unconstitutionality
On March 14, 2008, Prosecutor General Abdurrahman Yalçınkaya filed for prohibition proceedings against the AKP. The justification for the procedure was that the AKP had become a “center of anti- laicist activities”. The attorney general is calling for a political ban on 71 people, including President Abdullah Gül, then Prime Minister and Chairman of the AKP Erdoğan and former Parliament President Bülent Arınç.
On March 31, 2008, the Turkish Constitutional Court officially initiated the prohibition proceedings against the 71 politicians and the ruling AKP party. On July 30, 2008, the ban was rejected. Six of the eleven judges voted for a ban, which narrowly missed the required number of seven votes. Four other judges voted for a warning for "anti-secular activities". In a second ballot, 10 judges voted in favor of warning the AKP because it was “the center for anti-secular activities in Turkey”; only one judge voted against. Thus, the party may continue to rule, but according to Art. 69 of the constitution, state support for the AKP may be partially denied.
After it became known that the phones of 65 prosecutors and judges had been tapped (including the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalçınkaya), a new preliminary investigation into the AKP was launched in November 2009.
Corruption allegations against AKP politicians
Deputy Party Chairman Şaban Dişli resigned on September 1, 2008 on allegations of corruption in connection with property speculation.
In December 2013, after many years of investigations, numerous people in the immediate vicinity of the AKP leadership were arrested on charges of corruption . They have been charged with getting rich by evading economic sanctions against Iran. As a result, three AKP ministers submitted their resignation.
- Charlotte Joppien: The Turkish Adalet ve Kalkιnma Partisi (AKP). A study of the program »Muhafazakar Demokrasi« (Conservative Democracy). Berlin 2011, Klaus Schwarz Verlag, ISBN 978-3-87997-389-7 .
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- ^ Yalçın Akdoğan: The Meaning of Conservative Democratic Identity . In: M. Hakan Yavuz (Ed.): The Emergence of a New Turkey. Democracy and the AK Parti . University of Utah Press 2006, p. 64.
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- ↑ Vatansever, Asli: The Muslim Brothers and the AKP: The blind and the one-eyed. In: Nolte, Hans-Heinrich (ed.): Zeitschrift für Weltgeschichte (ZWG), 14th year 2013, issue 2. p. 160.
- ↑ Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung : “Islamist Competitors” , accessed on September 16, 2015.
- ↑ BBC Türkçe : "Müslüman Kardeşler ve AKP: Benzerlikler ve ayrılıklar" ("Muslim Brotherhood and the AKP: Similarities and Differences") , accessed on September 16, 2015.
- ↑ Bugün : "AKP Parti Gençlik Kolları, Mısır Büyükelçiliği Önünde Eylem Yaptı", ("AKP youth demonstrates in front of the Egyptian embassy") ( Memento from June 17, 2015 in the Internet Archive ).
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- ↑ Deutsche Welle : “Support for Muslim Brotherhood isolates Turkey” , accessed on September 16, 2015.
- ↑ Barry Rubin, Birol Yesilada (Ed.): Islamization of Turkey under the AKP Rule . Routledge, London (1st edition, 2012) ISBN 0-415-66119-6 , pp. I. See also Bassam Tibi : "The AKP is an Islamist party and it is in the context of the party history of political Islam in Turkey", in: "Erdogan's fifth column" , Basler Zeitung , March 29, 2017
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- ↑ Zorunlu din dersi istemeyenler yargı karşısında (“Opponents of the compulsory religious instruction find themselves in court”). In: CNNTürk , accessed on September 13, 2015.
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- ↑ Turkey insists on religious duty despite judgment In: Die Welt , accessed on September 13, 2015.
- ^ Özgür, Iren: Islamic Schools in Modern Turkey: Faith, Politics, and Education (Cambridge Middle East Studies). Cambridge University Press, 2015. ISBN 978-1-107-52979-3 . P. 157.
- ↑ Turkish daily Sol : Erdoğan alkol yasağını savundu (de: Erdoğan defends alcohol ban ), p. 2, April 27, 2013, (Turkish).
- ↑ Reporters Without Borders : Ranking list of press freedom 2002 ( Memento from January 10, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
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- ^ Turkish daily newspaper Sözcü , Mehmet Şehirli: Dündar Korkuyorsa , March 6, 2011, (Turkish).
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- ^ A writer as an enemy of the state In: Frankfurter Rundschau , February 8, 2012.
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- ↑ "Hürriyet'e saldıran grubun baş aktörlerinden AK Partili vekil Abdurrahim Boynukalın, Kongre'de Divan üyesi" ( "AKP deputy Abdurrahim Boynukalın, one of the key players in the attack on the Hürriyet is in line Party") In: Hurriyet , accessed at September 13, 2015.
- ↑ "Mafyaya özenen AK Partili vekilin şok kaydı: 'Hatamız bunlara zamanında dayak atmamak oldu!'" ("Shocking reception of the AKP MP who strives for the Mafia: 'Our mistake that we did not beat them up early'") In: Hürriyet , accessed September 16, 2015.
- ↑ "AK Partili vekilin dayak tehdidine Davutoğlu yorumu: Bu Tür ifadeleri doğru görmem" ("Davutoğlu's comment on the threat of beatings by AKP MPs: Do not approve of such statements") In: Hürriyet , accessed on 16 September 2015.
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