Turkey between Democracy and Authoritarianism by Yesim Arat (Bogazici UEniversitesi, Istanbul)
Since the 1980 military coup in Turkey, much of the history and politics of the country can be described as a struggle between democracy and authoritarianism. In this accessible account of the country's politics, society and economics, the authors delve into the causes and processes of what has been called a democratic 'backsliding'. In order to explore this, Yesim Arat and Sevket Pamuk, two of Turkey's leading social scientists, focus on the mutual distrust between the secular and Islamist groups. They argue that the attempts by a secular coalition to circumscribe the Islamists in power had a boomerang effect. The Islamists struck back first in self-defence, then in pursuit of authoritarian power. With chapters on urbanization, Kurdish nationalism, women's movements, economic development and foreign relations, this book offers a comprehensive and lively examination of contemporary Turkey and its role on the global stage.