The Justice and Development Party (AKP) is Turkey’s current ruling party and it exhibits moderate, traditional, pro-western tendencies which advocates for liberalized market financial system and membership of Turkey into the European Union. AKP is some right-wing traditional, moderate party which aims to merge Islamic elements with day-to-day secular and democratic Turkish lifestyles. AKP was formed in august 2001. The current Turkish President, Abdullah Gul is a famous leader of AKP, whereas the party head is Recep Toyed Edorgan who is also Prime Minister (http://www. absoluteastronomy. com/topics/Justice_and_Development_Party_(Turkey).
The AKP secured a landslide success in November 2002’s parliamentary polls by clinching thirty four percent of total countrywide vote and securing a substantial 363 parliamentary majority. USA President George W. Bush in December 2002 invited Erdogan to America for talks. Subsequently Erdogan went to Europe where he was assured that the EU was to commence talks with Turkey regarding acceptance of Ankara into the EU after Turkey implemented adequate economic and political reforms. Erdogan’s government has aggressively agitated and succeeded more for democratic and liberal transformation, as compared to past Turkish administrations.
Additionally, the regime has boosted Turkey’s ties with the USA and Europe. Upon inception, AKP diverted political focus from the previous religiously-inclined stance, of anxiety over absence of Islamic characteristics in Turkey, towards agitation for economic and democratic reforms and emphasizing for moral principles through communitarian-liberal compromise. Edorgan too wanted to camouflage AKP’s Islamic inclinations through initiating broad-reaching alliances with centre-right party members and through undertaking to push for Turkey’s membership within the European Union.
AKP was also positioned to be opposing the traditional, secular, government-run progress parties that were rendered unsuccessful by recurrent 1990s as well as the beginning of 2000s financial crises (http://www. absoluteastronomy. com/topics/Justice_and_Development_Party_(Turkey). AKP espoused the secularism principle that calls for the disconnection of state and religion into 2 autonomous and distinct realms. This principle within turkey goes further to subordinate religion to the government.
It is held that some political party may not have religious convictions, unlike individuals and that faith is too supreme to be cashed in on or exploited. Following some preliminary setbacks in 2003, particularly when Edorgan’s assuming of premiership was momentarily blocked, AKP has regained ground. It weathered the disaster regarding the 2003 Iraq invasion; although there was some huge backbench revolt when in excess of 100 AKP legislators joined the opponent Republican Peoples Party in preventing the state from permitting the USA to attack northern Iraq from within Turkey (http://www.
economicexpert. com/a/Justice:and:Development:Party:Turkey. html). AKP has embarked on structural transformations and thus there has been fast growth and the 30-year hyperinflation has ended- by 2004 June inflation stood at 8. 8%. The AKP government has been touted as being the most victorious for several years. January 2005 saw AKP being admitted into the European People’s Party (EPP), EU’s traditional party, in the capacity of some observer associate. AKP is posed to assume full membership in the event that Turkey joins the EU.
However, in the event that Turkey is eventually barred from joining the EU, there are fears that AKP would split again into its conservative and reformist factions, thus indicating another instability era within Turkish political systems. AKP has introduced numerous alterations which are regarded to be based on Islam or non-secular. The year 2005 saw the banning of trade on alcoholic drinks within a part of Ankara mostly dominated by restaurants and bars. Such a ban soon was lifted owing to the area business persons’ reactions; however such establishments still are required to be licensed (http://www.
economicexpert. com/a/Justice:and:Development:Party:Turkey. html. AKP’s tendency of posting anti-secular persons in state offices as well as granting contracts to persons known to be strict Islamic adherents has been criticized. AKP legislated against the ban on headscarf within every university in 2007, an action that was condemned by non-religious parties. This action subsequently resulted in the indictments in 2008 proposing for the AKP’s outlaw. Following indictment, the AKP administration has undertaken numerous arrests within the non-religious population.
Analysts have regarded such an action as the ultimate trial to eradicate prominent secularists prior to the probable closure of the party. Abdullah Gul, the President, on 5th august 2005 following the ruling regarding the winding up trial of the party, appointed twenty one fresh deans to head all state universities. It was reveled that all such deans favored the revocation of the ban on headscarves. Muammer Guler, Istanbul’s mayor, in 2004 legislated against all publicly exhibited imagery; including adverts that contained partial nakedness, for instance swimming suit adverts.
Edibe Sozen, an AKP legislator, on 9th august 2008 suggested for the initiation of prayer departments within every school and the banning of pornographic picture sales to persons less than 16 years. Such a proposed legislation also held that persons beyond 16 years who purchased pornographic content be recorded through Citizen Identification Number. AKP’s non-secular actions too are explained as permitting for liberal exercising of religious conviction while also having secular inclinations present. Turkish society is very religious and its constitution is secular.
Turkish past governments have exhibited anti-religious or anti-clerical qualities by, for instance banning wearing of the fez and headscarves. AKP is thus attempting to apply an American-type system showing impartiality between secularism and religion (http://www. metimes. com/Opinion/2009/04/03/turkeys_justice_and_development_party_and_eu_reform/4942/). The AKP rejects intolerant oppression of Muslims, for instance, while opposing government implementation of dress systems of Islam, AKP hold that university female students may wear headscarves.
Turkey’s riling party has initiated remarkable economic and political reforms, majority of which mirror the principles needed for admission of Ankara into the EU. Such transformations include: a merged market economic system; firm democratic organizations; rule of law; protection for minority groups and reverence for globally acknowledged human liberties. Age-old limitations on the traditional expression of the Kurds have been moderated, death punishment has been eliminated and laws for curtailing torture have been enacted.
The state has done away with the infamous government security courts as well as military membership within the Higher Education Board. Other concerns such as civilian management of military establishments, freedom of the press and accountability within community finance have also been addressed. A number of reasons have slowed down EU transformation including: obvious unwillingness of several party members to have Turkey join the EU, partiality relating to the Cyprus dispute; bureaucracy and resistance for other parties and the dissolution Constitutional Court verdict against the AKP.
The situation was compounded by the European Court of Human Rights ruling to trash some appeal permitting Muslim headscarves within public organizations. Endorsement of the EU within AKP’s ranks dropped dramatically following such a verdict (http://www. metimes. com/Opinion/2009/04/03/turkeys_justice_and_development_party_and_eu_reform/4942/). The AKP has endeavored to boost Ankara’s relationship with Europe and the USA. The regime has clearly opposed the notion of some Islamic financial bloc.
Erdogan’s administration secured a comprehensive Turkish Cypriot and Turkish pact regarding a UN strategy to achieve reunification of divided Cyprus, thus eliminating the number one cause for tension pitting Europe against Turkey (http://www. meib. org/articles/0407_t1. htm) AKP’s viewpoint regarding reforms favors modernization by way of discriminatory adoption. The administration is willing to embrace know-how and technology from the EU, however, it rejects Europe’s values and culture, which are regarded as inferior and alien.
Whereas there is acknowledgement and of the present administration and army in line with European representations, there are little methodical efforts to know western, culture, art as well as lifestyles. Disdain for European value and morals is typical of the current regime. Duality regarding technology and culture is deemed as being essential and desirable. The actual reason for AKP’s absence of zeal towards EU transformations is AKP’s dislike for European values. Many of AKP’s leaders have deep traditional social origins where Islam is very important and European lifestyle regarded as alien.
Western civilization’s values and norms are considered degenerate, corrupt and foreign. Turkish political Muslims grew up in such environments and many AKP politicians were dominant in such a group for a considerable duration. They regarded the EU as being some “Christian club” which would never embrace Ankara as some equal partner, and within which Ankara in any case must not be part of (http://www. meib. org/articles/0407_t1. htm). AKP leaders discarded their previous radical inclinations and attempted to steer AKP towards an increasingly centrist stance.
However, their essential instincts remained intact in that the leaders still regard the West as ethically inferior and alien. The AKP is especially supported by rural peasants and their offspring many of whom have moved into cities. It has initiated stable social programs to assist the rural and urban poor, especially at local levels. References Absolute astronomy. (2009). Justice and Development Party (Turkey): Facts, discussion forum, and encyclopedia article. Retrieved on 17th may 2009 from <http://www. absoluteastronomy. com/topics/Justice_and_Development_Party_(Turkey)>. Carroll, T. P. (June / July 2004).
“Turkeys Justice and Development Party: A model for democratic Islam? ” (June/ July 2004). Retrieved on 17th may 2009 from <http://www. meib. org/articles/0407_t1. htm>. EconomicExpert. com. (May 17, 2009). Justice and Development Party (Turkey) Turkey Turkish Akp. Retrieved on 17th may 2009 from <http://www. economicexpert. com/a/Justice:and:Development:Party:Turkey. html>. Refik, U. (April 3rd 2009). Turkey’s Justice and Development Party and EU reform – Middle East Times. Retrieved on 17th may 2009 from <http://www. metimes. com/Opinion/2009/04/03/turkeys_justice_and_development_party_and_eu_reform/4942/>.