Turkey History Since 2000
Between 2000 and 2001 the crisis factors worsened further: corruption, lack of democracy and very strong inflation threatened the entire system of power, which was defeated in the 2002 elections, won by the Justice and Development Party. A conviction for incitement to religious hatred prevented Erdoğan from assuming the leadership of the government until the approval of a constitutional amendment that in 2003 gave him back the active and passive electorate, allowing him to take over the office of prime minister from party comrade A. Gül. In 2007 the latter’s candidacy for the presidency of the Republic was strongly opposed by the Armed Forces, which became champions of the country’s secular traditions. The massive street demonstrations by supporters from both sides created a heated climate of tension, prompting the government to call early elections. The clear victory of the Justice and Development Party allowed the appointment of Gül to the presidency and strengthened the leadership of Erdoğan, who was able to resume the path of reforms necessary for the entry of the Turkey into the European Union and proceed with the launch of a Constitution, limiting the power of the military (2010). In the legislative elections of June 2011, for the third consecutive time since 2002, Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party confirmed their leadership of Turkey. For Turkey history, please check areacodesexplorer.com.
The transformation process initiated by Erdoğan – which imposed the primacy of civilian power over military power but broke the rules of the ancient secular order and exasperated the polarization between rural and urban culture – associated with the absence of an opposition party able to channel dissent into institutional forms, has produced a growing discontent that has generated forms of protest such as those that exploded in May 2013 in Istanbul against the construction of a shopping center in Taksim square, in the place where Gezi park currently stands; demonstrations of denunciation against the Islamist and authoritarian drift initiated by the premier, whose resignation has been requested, have extended to many other cities in the country to also affect the capital. Although the vast protest movement strengthened in the following months following severe restrictions on freedom of expression imposed by Erdoğan and his involvement in a series of scandals, the Justice and Development Party of the Prime Minister confirmed himself first obtaining 45.6% of the votes, with a drop of only three points compared to the result of the 2011 policies, while the Republican People’s Party, the first opposition force, went to 28.4% of the preferences. Erdoğan was elected president of the Turkey, receiving 53% of the preferences, in the first round of the consultations held in August 2014, the first by direct universal suffrage in the history of the country; in the same month he appointed the Foreign Minister A.Justice and Development Party. In the parliamentary elections held in June 2015, Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party, while confirming itself as the country’s first political group, lost its absolute majority, obtaining just over 40% of the votes and 258 seats, while the Republican People’s Party won about 25% of the votes (131 representatives) and the pro-Kurdish left party of the HDP, formed in 2014 and at the first electoral test, registered about 13% of the votes, exceeding the 10% threshold and guaranteeing access in Parliament. Negotiations for the formation of a government coalition failed, new consultations were announced in August 2015, to be held in November, while Erdoğan instructed outgoing Prime Minister Davutoğlu to form an interim executive. In the elections, held in November, the president’s party again won an absolute majority, receiving 49.4% of the votes (result obtained despite the pro-Kurdish HDP party managing to enter Parliament by winning 59 seats, albeit losing one million votes compared to June), which allowed him to form a single-color government with 316 seats in Parliament out of 550 led by Davutoğlu. The premier’s moderate line and his growing autonomy in relations with the European Union, however, in the following months opened a profound conflict with President Erdoğan, which led to Davutoğlu’s decision to resign in April 2016; in May Erdoğan gave the task of forming a new government to the former Minister of Transport B. Yildirim. In the following July, a coup organized by the military was foiled, and hundreds of people lost their lives in the course of the street clashes . A few days after the coup and with the approval of Parliament, the politician declared a state of emergency for three months, also deciding not to temporarily apply the European Convention for Human Rights; for this reason, in the same month the European Parliament approved a resolution to interrupt the accession negotiations of Turkey to the European Union. In January 2017, the Turkish Parliament also approved with 339 votes in favor of 550 the amendments to the Constitution contained in a package of 18 articles, which limit judicial power and centralize governmental powers in the hands of the president, abolishing the office of premier; not having reached the approval of two thirds of the Parliament, in the month of April the constitutional changes, which in fact transform the country into a presidential republic, were subjected to a popular referendum and approved with 51.4% of favorable opinions. In April 2018, President Erdoğan decided to bring forward the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for November 2019 to the following June, with which the transition to the presidential system approved by the referendum was sanctioned: predictably, the politician was reconfirmed at large majority in the office in the first round, obtaining 52.5% of the votes, while in the local elections held in March 2019 the Alliance Popular coalition comprising the AKP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP, Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi), despite having obtained the majority on a national basis .