The ‘Turkish-Type’ Presidential System: an Imperial Civilisational Restoration?

In: Turkish Historical Review, 13 (2022) 157–182.

This article analyses the ideological background on which the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) policy rested for the adoption of the presidential system in Turkey. It examines the presidential system as an AKP claim aiming at the resolution of Turkey’s ‘basic historical contradiction’ through the effort to restore the Ottoman imperial legacy. In the same context, the analysis extends to the ideological content of ‘New Turkey’, which focuses on the adoption of a ‘Turkish-type’ presidential system. At this level the importance of the identification of a powerful state with the centralisation of executive power is emphasised as a natural result of the restoration of the Ottoman imperial legacy. Finally, the article presents specific problematic aspects arising from the social and ideological polarisation accompanying the transition of Turkey to the presidential system.

Keywords: imperial restoration; conservatism; presidential system; Ottomanism; civilisational normalisation; Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

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