TÜRKİYE
— Also: Tirkiyê.
— Officially: Türkiye Cumhuriyeti.
— English: Turkey.
— Seat of government: Ankara.
— Status: Semi-democratic.
— Structure: In theory, parliament (Meclis) is elected in geographical constituencies modified by party-list proportional representation, and chooses the prime minister. The president is elected directly, and is the weaker position institutionally, except when occupied by the leader of the parliamentary majority. The military has been largely autonomous and frequently intervened, but that is changing. At the same time, the governing party has begun manipulating the democratic process.
— Governing parties: Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi; military.
— Head of government: Tayyip Erdoğan, AKP, president (head of government since 2002); assisted by Binali Yıldırım, AKP, prime minister; Hulusi Akar, chief of general staff.
— Other parliamentary parties: Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi, led by Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu; Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi, led by Devlet Bahçeli; Halkların Demokratik Partisi, led by Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ.
— Assessment: The elected government has both a progressive pro-Europe modernization agenda and a regressive religious agenda. It governs in tandem with the military, whose repeated intervention in democracy has made it a perpetual oligarchic partner. Issues of religious and minority rights have yet to be settled. A succession of Kurdî parties has been banned, with politicians and even elected officials jailed. The state has threatened to occupy Herêmî Kurdistan to prevent its independence, while the Partiya Karkerêen Kurdistan and its successors and affiliates have engaged in a long conflict for independence and then protracted negotiations for autonomy. Türkiye was finally granted full candidacy to the European Union in 1999, fulfilling a long-held goal of secular nationalists, but negotiations have dragged and disillusioned the government and populace. The forced secular nature of the state has meant curbs on democracy by the military, with support from nationalist parties; religious parties have been banned and even removed from office by coup. Erdoğan himself, leader of the AKP, was originally banned from parliament for a violation of Türkiye’s secular laws; he became prime minister only after the AKP, which swept to power in 2002, changed the constitution. A 2007 election in parliament for a new president led to controversy over secularism, with AKP’s Abdullah Gül nominated; Erdoğan called for a parliamentary election in response, with the AKP winning a larger majority. A subsequent supreme court ruling approved of AKP’s plan for a referendum on the direct election of the president (passed later in 2007); Gül, meanwhile, was elected by the new parliament. State prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalçınkaya attempted to ban AKP for its religious agenda in 2008; the highest court fell one vote short of the supermajority required for the ban, but did deprive it of state funding. In 2009, though, the court successfully banned another Kurdî party, the Partiya Civaka Demokratîk. In 2010, voters approved changes to the constitution originally written and imposed by the military. AKP won another majority in 2011 elections; Erdoğan was elected to the presidency in 2014, an office which he planned to make the head of government through constitutional change (he remained, in any case, head of government as the leader of the governing party). In 2015, the AKP not only failed to win the necessary two-thirds majority for a constitutional change, it lost its simple majority in parliament. A re-run in late 2015 saw an official majority for AKP, but only with probable rigging. In 2016, a faction of the military attempted to overthrow AKP and Erdoğan; all the parliamentary parties rejected this, and the coup was defeated, but Erdoğan then intensified his purge of supposed followers of exiled religious leader Fethullah Gülen, a former ally. In 2017, a referendum held under biased conditions and questionable counting procedures resulted in an official endorsement of a strong presidency designed for Erdoğan. The state has control of a portion of recognized سوريا « Sūrīā », Fırat Kalkanı/درع الفرات « Dirc ɔal-Frāt », meant to thwart an autonomous Kurdî territory.
— FH: 3-3, partly free (democratic). Econ: 5.69 (87), hybrid.
— Updated: 2017 April 20.
 

O.T. FORD