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The Failure of Democracy in Turkey: A Comparative Analysis


  • Lauren McLaren,

  • Burak Cop


Although Turkey took its initial steps toward establishing democracy in 1950, it has thus far failed to become a fully functioning democracy. Using the comparison cases of Spain and Greece, this article discusses two related variables that are likely to have thwarted the development of full democracy in Turkey: the country's experience with authoritarian rule, and the lack of elite settlement or convergence towards acceptance of the democratic rules of the game. The article ultimately contends that despite the EU's attempt to push Turkey towards full democracy in the modern day it is unlikely that it will become a fully functioning democracy unless it manages to achieve civilian elite agreement regarding the rules of the Turkish democratic game, and that Turkey's experience with authoritarian rule may, in turn, have hindered the development of such rules.