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The Justice and Development Party (Turkish: Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi), abbreviated officially AK Parti in Turkish as an acronym, is a conservative political party in Turkey. Developed from the conservative tradition of Turkey's Ottoman past and its Islamic identity, the party is the largest in Turkey. Founded in 2001 by members of a number of existing conservative parties, the party has won pluralities in the six most recent legislative elections, those of 2002, 2007, 2011, June 2015, November 2015, and 2018. The party held a majority of seats for 13 years, but lost it in June 2015, only to regain it in the snap election of November 2015 but then lose it again in 2018. Its past electoral success has been mirrored in the three local elections held since the party's establishment, coming f

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  • Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi
  • Justice and Development Party
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  • The Justice and Development Party (Turkish: Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi), abbreviated officially AK Parti in Turkish as an acronym, is a conservative political party in Turkey. Developed from the conservative tradition of Turkey's Ottoman past and its Islamic identity, the party is the largest in Turkey. Founded in 2001 by members of a number of existing conservative parties, the party has won pluralities in the six most recent legislative elections, those of 2002, 2007, 2011, June 2015, November 2015, and 2018. The party held a majority of seats for 13 years, but lost it in June 2015, only to regain it in the snap election of November 2015 but then lose it again in 2018. Its past electoral success has been mirrored in the three local elections held since the party's establishment, coming f
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  • Justice and Development Party (Turkey)
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  • The Justice and Development Party (Turkish: Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi), abbreviated officially AK Parti in Turkish as an acronym, is a conservative political party in Turkey. Developed from the conservative tradition of Turkey's Ottoman past and its Islamic identity, the party is the largest in Turkey. Founded in 2001 by members of a number of existing conservative parties, the party has won pluralities in the six most recent legislative elections, those of 2002, 2007, 2011, June 2015, November 2015, and 2018. The party held a majority of seats for 13 years, but lost it in June 2015, only to regain it in the snap election of November 2015 but then lose it again in 2018. Its past electoral success has been mirrored in the three local elections held since the party's establishment, coming first in 2004, 2009 and 2014 respectively. However, the party lost most of Turkey's biggest cities including Istanbul and Ankara in 2019 local elections, which has been attributed to the Turkish economic crisis, rising authoritarianism as well as alleged government inaction on the Syrian refugee crisis. The current party leader is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the incumbent President of Turkey. Shortly after formation, the AKP portrayed itself as a pro-Western, pro-American party in the Turkish political spectrum that advocated a liberal market economy including Turkish membership in the European Union. The party had for a long time been supported by the Cemaat Movement of exiled Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, whose influence in the judiciary has helped to weaken the opposition against the AKP. The party was an observer in the center-right European People's Party between 2005 and 2013 and a member of the Eurosceptic Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe (ACRE) from 2013 to 2018. Controversies over whether the party remains committed to secular principles enshrined in the Turkish constitution have dominated Turkish politics since 2002. Turkey's constitution establishes the country as a secular state and prohibits any political parties that promote Islamism or shariah law. Various activists, commentators, and government officials have accused the party of Islamism, which has resulted in numerous unsuccessful closure cases. The party denies allegations of Islamism and affirms that it is committed to secularism. Since coming to power, the party has brought about tighter regulations on abortion and higher taxes on alcohol consumption, leading to allegations that it is covertly undermining Turkish secularism. Nationwide protests broke out against the alleged authoritarianism of the AKP in 2013, with the party's heavy-handed response receiving international condemnation and stalling the party's once championed EU accession negotiations. In addition to its alleged attempts to promote Islamism, the party has restricted civil liberties and internet use in Turkey, having temporarily blocked access to Twitter and YouTube in March 2014. Especially after the government corruption scandal involving several AKP ministers in 2013, the party has been increasingly accused of crony capitalism. The AKP favours a strong centralized leadership, having long advocated a presidential system of government and significantly reduced the number of elected local government positions in 2013.
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