Dossier: Justice and Development Party (Turkey)

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan waves to supporters from the balcony of the AKP's headquarters (photo: AP)

Local elections in Turkey

Carte blanche for a crackdown

The election result in Turkey was barely affected by last summer's Gezi Park protests, recent accusations of corruption against the ruling AKP and the on-going open conflict with the Gulen Movement. This is primarily due to the nation's economic situation and the fact that the AKP now controls most of the country's media outlets. By Ekrem Guezeldere in IstanbulMore

An opponent of the AKP government holds up two posters of Prime Minister Erdogan with the slogan "Big thief" (photo: Reuters)

Eleven years of Erdogan

Hard times for the "champion" of political Islam

As everything points to a clear victory for the AKP in Turkey's local elections, Turkish political scientist Cengiz Aktar takes stock of 11 years of Erdogan's rule. He says that Turkey's political and economic problems are home made and are caused by the fact that the AKP has been in power for too long and Erdogan's growing inability to enter into political co-operation. Nevertheless, he cautions against celebrating the downfall of political IslamMore

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visiting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on 29 January 2014 (photo: MEHR)

Turkish–Iranian relations

"Zero problems" with the Islamic Republic

Even at the height of diplomatic tensions with Iran and after an intensification of sanctions against the country, Turkey did not fall in with the West's strict line on Iran. Sinan Ulgen explains whyMore

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

The Erdogan administration

Turkey's paradigm shift

Since coming to power 12 years ago, Turkey's Justice and Development Party (AKP) has launched the most far-reaching process of democratisation the country has ever known and facilitated an unprecedented economic upswing. According to Cemal Karakas, however, it has not all been positive; there have been some worrying developments too, particularly in recent yearsMore

Ihsan Eliacik (photo: DW/Senada Sokollu)

Interview with Turkish theologian Ihsan Eliacik

The Koran and social justice

Ihsan Eliacik is the first proponent of an "Islamic socialism" in Turkey. In his teachings, he criticises the neo-liberal policies of the AKP and calls for a socialist reading of the Koran. Interview by Ceyda NurtschMore

Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara (photo: Reuters)

Turkey's corruption scandal

No light at the end of the tunnel

As the massive corruption investigation targeting allies of Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues, the Turkish prime minister has accused the judiciary of a conspiracy against his government. But what is behind these accusations? Ulrike Dufner has some answersMore

Dr. Günter Seufert (photo: DW)

The Gulen Movement Strikes Back


"Power Struggle Weakens Erdogan"

Supporters of the Gulen movement and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan are now at odds with each other. Turkey expert Günter Seufert explains what this power struggle means for ErdoganMore

Fethullah Gülen (photo: Reuters)

The Gülen Movement in Turkey

Struggling against the "Soldiers of Light"

For a long while, the movement led by preacher Fethullah Gülen was aligned with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan. But the old marriage of convenience has turned sour – with both sides stopping at nothing to cast the other in the bad light. By Michael Martens in IstanbulMore

A branch of the Bank Asya in Istanbul (photo: picture alliance/Tone Koene)


Growing Popularity of Islamic Banks

Can religious faith, God and money ever be brought into a harmonious co-existence? Yes, they can, say the acolytes of Islamic banking. Islamic banks are becoming ever more popular in Turkey, even if not everyone is particularly enthusiastic about the development.More

Fethullah Gülen (phto: picture-alliance/AP)

Two New Books on the Gülen Movement

Happy Altruists Everywhere

The American sociologist of religion Helen Rose Ebaugh and the German journalist Jochen Thies wanted to take a closer look at the Gülen movement and the educational activities of its adherents. Both books, however, lack the necessary critical distance says Jan KuhlmannMore

Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

The Gülen Movement


Erdoğan Is Not Turkey's Only Problem

In Turkey, the pious Gülen network has created what is effectively a state within the Turkish state, gaining a strong foothold in the police force, the judiciary, and the bureaucracy. The ultimate goal seems to be to reshape society in the movement's own conservative-religious image. By Dani RodrikMore

Protests of the Cihangir Park Forum in Istanbul (photo: private copyright)

"Open Forums" in Turkey

New Forms of Participation

The Gezi Park protests have led to the emergence of local grassroots committees or "Open Forums" in many Turkish towns and cities. Their goal: To preserve quality of life in residential areas and foster political dialogue and development. A commentary by Ceyda Nurtsch from the "Open Forum" in the Istanbul neighbourhood of BeyoğluMore

Protests at Istanbul University (photo: AP)

Protests in Turkey

The Intolerance of Others

While police and demonstrators argue over who was responsible for the death of a protestor in Antakya, female students in Istanbul are abused for wearing headscarves – by other female students. Turkey is struggling with a wave of intolerance that is afflicting all camps. Michael Martens reports from IstanbulMore

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi (photo: Reuters)

Turkey and the Coup in Egypt

Isolation or "Precious Loneliness"?

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's criticism of the recent military coup and the brutal crackdown on protesters in Egypt has sparked an angry diplomatic row between Ankara and Cairo. Some feel Turkey risks isolating itself in the region. Erdogan aide Ibrahim Kalin, on the other hand, prefers to speak of "precious loneliness". Ayhan Simsek has the detailsMore

Anti-Morsi graffito in Cairo, Egypt (photo: Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images)

Political Islam

The Loss of Democratic Legitimacy

This year, Islamist politics has faced massive setbacks in two major predominantly Muslim countries: Egypt and Turkey. But it is too soon to write political Islam off as a capable participant – even a leading force – in a pluralist democracy. An essay by Timur KuranMore

Turkey's prime minister Erdogan at a rally of his ruling conservative AK party in Ankara (photo: Reuters)

Interview with Cengiz Aktar

''Turkey's Problem is Erdogan, Not the AKP''

According to Cengiz Aktar, Turkey's long-time Prime Minister Erdogan has become an autocrat. "Changing his mind would, in his opinion, be a sign of weakness", Aktar says in this interview with Ada Pagliarulo. He will therefore find it hard to manage the country's crisis, the political scientist predictsMore