Theme: Parties & Elections | Content Type: Journal article

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Elections and Democracy in Turkey: Reconsidering Competitive Authoritarianism in the Age of Democratic Backsliding

Meral Ugur-Cinar



| 1 min read

This article reflects on the reasons why Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) could still win in the recent 2023 presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey despite, among other daunting issues, the deep economic crisis and their unsuccessful handling of the February 2023 earthquake. The article discusses the role of state apparatus and the media under a neopatrimonial system, as well as the role of the EU, which turned Turkey into a rentier state with the refugee deals. The discussion considers whether Turkey could still be seen as a competitive authoritarian regime and points to the difficulties in determining whether regimes such as the Turkish one are competitive authoritarian or not until the election results are seen and the opposition candidates actually win.

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    Meral Ugur-Cinar

    Meral Ugur-Cinar is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Bilkent University, Turkey. She works on political regimes, political institutions, democratisation, collective memory, social movements and gender.

    Articles by Meral Ugur-Cinar