The New Turkey and its Nascent Security Regime

Hakkı Taş (2020) ‘The New Turkey and its Nascent Security Regime,’ GIGA Focus Paper, Middle East 6. Full Text in English Full Text in German

Excerpt: Attempts to read Turkey’s authoritarian turn predominantly focus on the top-down Islamisation of state and society during the last two decades under the rule of the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP). However, the overemphasis on the aforementioned ideological transformation overlooks what the limits of this self-admittedly non-achieving social and political engineering project are. The Turkish youth is gradually distancing itself from religion, illustrating an organic, bottom-up secularisation. Likewise, President Tayyip Erdoğan long lost his narrative to win the hearts and minds of society, making him rely less on consent and more on coercion. More importantly, the overwhelming ideational readings of AKP politics fail to notice another dimension of Turkey’s ongoing transformation: the emerging security regime enhancing the state’s coercive capacity in all facets of domestic and foreign politics.

Photo © Reuters, Murad Sezer

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