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Turkey under AKP Rule (2002-2020)

Class at Faculty of Arts |


19-02-2021 – First session: Introduction and COVID-19 in Turkey

    Presentation of the course, explanation of work methods and validation modalities

    Distribution of oral presentations

    Discussion of the politics of COVID-19 in Turkey     26-02-2021 – Second session: Crash course on Turkey

     Reading: Bozarslan, Hamit. “Kemalism, Westernization and Anti-Liberalism.” In Turkey Beyond Nationalism: Towards Post-Nationalist Identities, edited by Hans-Lukas Kieser, 28–34. London: I.B.Tauris, 2006.     05-03-2021 – Third session: Birth and development of the AKP

    Oral presentation: Is AKP an Islamist party?

     Reading: Gülsah Çapan, Zeynep, and Ayşe Zarakol. “Turkey’s Ambivalent Self: Ontological Insecurity in ‘Kemalism’ versus ‘Erdoğanism.’” Cambridge Review of International Affairs 32, no. 3 (May 4, 2019): 263–82.   12-03-2021 – Fourth session: Military coups and Turkish politics

    Oral presentation: 2016 military coup attempt

    Reading: Esen, Berk, and Sebnem Gumuscu. “Turkey: How the Coup Failed.” Journal of Democracy 28, no. 1 (2017): 59–73.     19-03-2021 – Fifth session: Turkey’s road to presidentialism

    Oral presentation: 2017 constitutional referendum

    Oral presentation: Presidential regime a la turca?

    Reading: Ertekin, Orhan Gazi. “The Rise of Caesarism, or Erdoğan’s Way.” South Atlantic Quarterly 118, no. 1 (January 1, 2019): 61–80.     26-03-2021 – Sixth session: New political parties

    Oral presentation: The Good Party (Iyi Parti)

    Reading: Celep, Ödül. “How Can Akşener’s İyi Parti Contribute to Turkey’s Democracy?” Turkish Policy Quarterly 16, no. 4 (2018): 109–18.     02-04-2021 – Seventh session: Media, censorship and freedom of expression

    Oral presentation: The Cumhuriyet trial

    Oral presentation: The closure of Zaman and Özgür Gündem newspapers

    Reading: The Ahmet Altan case, online:     09-04-2021 – Eighth session: Kurdish movement in Turkey   

    Oral presentation: Co-chairing system (eşbaşkanlık)

    Reading: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. “Report on the Human Rights Situation in South-East Turkey, July 2015 to December 2016.” Report. Geneva: United Nations, February 2017.     16-04-2021 – Ninth session: Women in politics

    Oral presentation: Did AKP open the door to politics for women?  

   Reading: Yaraş, Sezen. “The Making of the ‘New’ Patriarch in Women’s Self-Narrations of Political Empowerment: The Case of Local Female AKP Politicians in the Aftermath of 2009 Elections.” Turkish Studies 20, no. 2 (March 15, 2019): 273–96.     23-04-2021 – Tenth session: Social movements from 1968 to Gezi

    Oral presentation: The Gezi trial

    Reading: Bee, Cristiano, and Stavroula Chrona. “Youth Activists and Occupygezi: Patterns of Social Change in Public Policy and in Civic and Political Activism in Turkey.” Turkish Studies 18, no. 1 (January 2, 2017): 157–81.     30-04-2021 – Eleventh session: The Midterm Exam

    Open book format

    Online     07-05-2021 – Twelfth session: Turkey in the EU & Turkey in the world

    Oral presentation: The balance sheet of Trump-Erdoğan relations

    Reading: Yilmaz, Gözde. “From Europeanization to De-Europeanization: The Europeanization Process of Turkey in 1999–2014.” Journal of Contemporary European Studies 24, no. 1 (January 2, 2016): 86–100.     14-05-2021 – Thirteenth session: General discussion & Concluding remarks

    General discussion: key elements from the course  


The seminar will take place online (Zoom link: and will be held in English.

Turkey has been governed by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) since 2002. During this time, the country launched and saw fading its EU bid, initiated a peace process with the Kurds to subsequently return to warfare, experienced a military coup attempt, and economic growth and crisis. While the public space has been shrinking and Turkey ranks 154th in the World Press Freedom Index, the living conditions of the majority of the population have improved. This online seminar aims to contextualize the AKP’s 18 year-long rule beyond the immediacy of the current developments. This is achieved by the constant oscillation between the present and the past which are dealt with through several themes: nationalism, political regime, social movements, women’s rights and the Kurdish question.

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