Turkey at the Polls: After the Tsunami

Issue Date April 2003
Volume 14
Issue 2
Page Numbers 80-94
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The parliamentary elections of 3 November 2002 in Turkey gave a large majority to the Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP), a successor to two previously banned Islamist parties (Refah and Fazilet) that now rejects the Islamist label. The Republican People’s Party (CHP) took all remaining seats. The AKP, a group of self-avowed “Muslim Democrats,” was led by the charismatic former mayor of Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who became prime minister of the Turkish Republic in March 2003. The AKP’s victory was the product of a series of events including the Susurluk scandal, the postmodern military coup, the Izmit earthquake, and deep economic problems.