Competitive and Democratic Depth: Keys for Success in Turkish Football and Politics
Earlier this month Turkish police detained a total of 37 individuals in the most extensive investigation to-date into football match-fixing in the country. Turkey’s football teams pre-date the republic and have more supporters than any political party, so the current scandal is more than just about sports. The June 12 elections in Turkey laid to rest any lingering doubts about the vibrancy of the country’s electoral democracy, but the football scandal has now raised further questions about the depth of Turkey’s competitive and democratic transformation beyond elections. In both its electoral and football tradition, Turkey needs to prove it is able to transcend its tradition of “democracy without democrats” in which one group within the heterogeneous, polarized polity captures the state (or sport) only to enact rules that enable it to monopolize power and govern without compromise.