Playing the game of democracy through the electoral mechanism: the democratic party experience in Turkey
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The commitment to the procedural rules of democracy, particularly to the electoral mechanism, on the part of political leadership is considered necessary for the establishment and survival of democracy. However, the political actors' commitment to the electoral mechanism does not guarantee the well-being of the democratic regime. In newly established democracies, the electoral mechanism itself can also function as a disadvantage to democracy if it is manipulated by the political elite. Based on this assumption, this article analyzes the case of Turkey's Democratic Party (DP, Demokrat Parti) under the leadership of Celal Bayar and Adnan Menderes between 1946 and 60 and demonstrates that political actors can exploit the electoral mechanism by either rescheduling elections or amending the electoral regulations despite their acceptance of it as one of the basic procedural rules of democracy. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.