Transformation of Turkey’s Conservatism Under the AK Party
Under the AK Party’s more than 11 years’ rule, one of the most hotly debated topics has been “conservatism” and its rise in Turkey’s politics. In contrast, little discussed but no less important is how the conservatives themselves have evolved over the same time period. This segment has experienced significant upward socio-economic mobilization, which they rightly attribute to the uninterrupted rule of the AK Party over the same period. And the success of the party, among other things, is linked by Turkey’s conservative social base to the political dexterity of its charismatic leader, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Such a reading of events has caused a significant level of transformation in the thinking of conservative circles, which consequently informed a reshaping of their approach toward the state, politics, and political leadership.