Party Oligarchy: Why Turkish Political Parties Fail to Change Their Leaders
Electoral failure, which constitutes a major opportunity for parties to renew their leaders in other democratic systems, does not serve the same function in Turkish politics. Instead, leaders successfully argue that they cannot leave the party leadership vacant under such difficult circumstances. Over the years, in many democracies, countervailing powers, practices, and understandings developed to protect against the retention of power by party leaders. However, there continue to be a number of factors that promote such oligarchic practices in Turkey. These include the high concentration of party power at the center, parties’ dependence on public funds, and centralized decisions regarding election candidates.