The New York Times - June 5, 2013
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — FOR the past few years, there has been a general optimism about Turkish democracy in Western capitals, especially in Washington, thanks to the economic strides made by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, known as the A.K.P.
These optimists, and even those who admit that Turkish democracy has its shortcomings, tend to subscribe to the political scientist Seymour Martin Lipset’s famous modernization theory — the idea that greater democratization follows automatically as a country becomes more prosperous. Turkey has been growing rapidly and steadily over the last 11 years, the theory goes, so perhaps all we need is patience. By this logic, Mr. Erdogan’s own economic success will inexorably bring an end to his authoritarian style of government.