Pseudo-Democratic Politics and Populist Possibilities: The Rise and Demise of the Refah Party in Turkey
Within the span of only a few years, Turkish politics witnessed the dramatic rise and fall of the Refah Party. This transformation from relative obscurity to the head of a ruling coalition and eventual banning was caused by a combination of features inherent in the Turkish political system and the party itself. Turkish democracy features the continued interference of the military in domestic political affairs on the one hand and a preponderance of largely centrist and bland "mainstream" parties on the other. Nevertheless, the existence of ostensibly democratic institutions such as elections or a parliament enable potential political aspirants who are outside the mainstream to make bids for power through officially sanctioned channels. The Refah's rise was a product of the perceived uniqueness of its ideological platform and its unparalleled focus on grass roots voter mobilization. Its fall, however, came when the military considered it to have overstepped the bounds of acceptable political behaviour within the country's narrowly defined democracy.
External LinkDOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13530199808705669
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British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 25(2).
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