Impact of Party Regulation on Small Parties and Independent Candidates in Turkey

Authors: Gen?kaya, ?mer Faruk | Published in: working paper series on the legal regulation of political parties, no. 41, February. | Date of publication: 2014

Turkey, as being both a "second-" and "third-wave democracy" (Huntington, 1991), considered political parties as "indispensable elements of democratic political life" starting with the 1961 Constitutional period. However, the party regulations have followed a path from a more liberal to a more restricted regime since the 1960s. This article attempts to elaborate on the relationship between the constraints of party regulation and the organization and activities of political parties in Turkey since 1983. It is assumed that the centralistic, uniform and restrictive nature of the party and election regulations on the one hand and an unequal and unfair public funding system on the other, naturally and/or intentionally support the bigger and more central parties vis a vis small parties and independent candidates. Below, the critical provisions of the party regulation leading to these contradictions will be discussed with special reference to organization, prohibitions, political funding and electoral rules.

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