The military coup in 1980 transitioned Turkey to a neoliberal economic and political development model led by Turgut Özal, who held high-level positions, including prime minister and president, between 1980 and 1993. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan founded the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi; AKP) in 2001 and led it until 2014. In 2002 party leaders, declaring it a conservative democratic party, announced that it was breaking from its classic Islamist roots. Erdoğan also claimed that he was committed to Özal’s economic and political policies. The AKP won the general election in 2002, tolerated by nearly every segment of society, including the Kurdish and Turkish oppositions and liberal-leftist intellectuals. In 2007 and 2010 the party expanded its powers by referendum, and in 2010 Prime Minister Erdoğan took dictatorial control.

The head scarf movement and women were of...

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