Transformation of Politics in Turkey: from the 'Strong State Tradition' to 'Total Politics'

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Karakoc Ş. M.

JOURNAL OF ECONOMY CULTURE AND SOCIETY, no.62, pp.227-253, 2020 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: Issue: 62
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.26650/jecs2019-0091
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.227-253


This article aims to conceptually analyze the transformation of politics, as a state-society relationship, in Turkey from the 1990s until today. To do this conceptual analysis, firstly, a detection of the founding parameters which describe the dominant political structure of Republic of Turkey is done. For the detection of founding parameters, the settled conceptual models that have been developed previously to analyze the politics of Turkey are consulted. As the settled conceptual models, the models of Serif Mardin's "center-periphery", Metin Heper's " transcendent state - society", Idris Kucukomer's "Proponents of westernization/secularist - Proponents of easternization/Islamist" front and Emre Kongar's "statist preeminent - traditionalist liberal" front are analyzed. Then, the changes in the structure of the post-1990 politics of Turkey is analyzed with reference to founder parameters which are detected from the settled conceptual models. The major argument of this article is that the dominant political structure of the Republic of Turkey, overall changing around political reforms after 2000, has transformed at the institutional level from the "strong state tradition - based" political structure to"total politics - based" political structure. In this context, this study explores how the strong state tradition transformed and the social groups turned into an actor in Turkish politics.