Democratic Party and democracy in Turkey : with special reference to Celal Bayar and Adnan Menderes
Item Usage Stats
MetadataShow full item record
This study aims to analyze the conceptualization of democracy by Celal Bayar and Adnan Menderes. Given the basic assumption of this dissertation, which is that ‘political agency’ is the decisive factor for the democratization path of a country, it is particularly concerned with Bayar’s and Menderes’ conceptualization of democracy. Since they were the main figures of Turkish politics between the year 1945, when the transition decision to democracy was made, and the year 1960, when the Democratic Party government was overthrown by the Turkish military, it is important to examine the understanding of democracy that shaped their political actions and decisions in order to understand the extent to which they contributed to Turkish democracy. Taking the agency approach as its theoretical background, this dissertation analyzes their political discourse and praxis based on the distinction between minimalist and maximalist democracy. While the minimalist dimension emphasizes the vertical accountability dimension of democracies and finds the presence of the electoral dimension of political regimes sufficient to define a regime as democratic, the maximalist dimension additionally considers the horizontal accountability dimension and takes the political opposition aspect as interdependent with vertical accountability, and thus as an indispensable aspect of democracies. This analysis is made using the minutes of the Turkish Grand National Assembly and group meetings of the Democratic Party, selected newspapers and periodicals of the period, speeches and articles of Bayar and Menderes, and the biographies written by their friends or journalists. In addition to the data gathered through these written sources, data collected through interviews with people that witnessed the period is also used. All data is categorized under these two main dimensions of democracy and analyzed according to the extent to which these two dimensions of democracy can be considered crucial for these two political leaders’ understanding of democracy. The analysis of the political discourse and praxis of Bayar and Menderes indicates that Bayar and Menderes accepted both vertical and horizontal dimensions of democracy. However, they did not see them as interdependent and they attached priority to the vertical accountability dimension. Thus, as they disregarded the horizontal accountability dimension, it is found that democracy came under threat and finally collapsed.