The experience of democracy in Turkey since its introduction in 1950 has been bloody, chequered but persistent. The complex cultural and economic stratification of Turkish society, together with its unique geopolitical status, straddling Eastern and Western zones of influence, in part accounts for the turbulence of Turkey's democratic experience. But, as this important new work argues, Turkish democracy has for too long been treated as a sui generis case, and been cut off from theoretical developments in psephology and comparative sociology. The authors seek to redress this, combining cutting-edge theory with in-depth empirical research to address the key issues in contemporary Turkish politics: the rise of democratic Islamist parties, and the implications of their ascendancy for political stability and democratic governance. They offer important conclusions on voter decision-making in Turkey, and provide a rigorous theoretical framework for identifying trends and anticipating future developments.
Ali Carkoglu is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Sabanci University and a member of the editorial board of Turkish Studies. Ersin Kalycioglu is a Professor of Political Science and President of Isik University, Istanbul. Ustun Erguder is Director of the Istanbul Policy Center at Sabanci University.