Turkey, like many Westernizing/modernizing societies, was for a long time ruled by an “enlightened” minority, composed of the urban intelligentsia and the bureaucracy. The military formed the backbone of this elite. From the end of the Second World War, a multiparty parliamentary system was introduced, but the regime was interrupted by military takeovers in 1960, 1971, 1980, and finally in 1997.
This pattern began to change after the elections of 2002, which saw the victory of the AKP (Justice and Development Party). The AKP emerged from the Islamist political movements of the 1970s, but came to represent a more moderate and democratic form of political Islam under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. This party, in power for the last twelve years, is beginning to show strong signs of establishing a majoritarian-authoritarian regime, a gain lacking in democracy. This is the new turning point Turkey faces at the moment.