The history of modern Turkey is predominated by the history of its political parties. Indeed, almost all the political parties of Turkish politics left profound marks on Turkish society. Each party influenced the political and social structure of Turkey by their unique characteristics, and thus, they shone through them. In this regard, the ongoing political power of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has already made major and versatile contributions to the reconstruction of Turkey. The Republican regime, which was founded and shaped by the Kemalist civil and military bureaucratic elite, has been substantially reformed by the AK Party for the sake of bringing the Turkish state and society to the level of contemporary civilization. In contrast to the traditional top-down policy of the early Republic, these reforms have been realized through a bottom-up strategy by which citizens internalize the ongoing process of change.
The reforms of the AK Party's political power as a whole can be called as a popular revolution of sorts. At first glance, the term popular revolution may grate on the ear, as it had been a political concept traditionally ascribed to leftist political parties in Turkey; however, when the policies of a decade-long AK Party government are even roughly investigated, the claim for the realization of a silent popular revolution or popular governance becomes all the more meaningful.
All of the long-lasting political powers in Turkey acquired their strength from the people. Apparently, these political parties struggled against the civil and military bureaucratic elite of the Republican People's Party (CHP). Until very recently, each political party that had come to power has been forced to resign their political influence and strength that was aggregated from Anatolia to the centralist, pro-Western, secular and elitist political groups representing the "old Turkey." Therefore, all of the governments' proceedings were processed in favor of the owners of the old regime, as well as narrow economic groups, such as the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TÜSİAD). Still, the failure of the previous popular governments was also derived from their distrust of the people who put them in power in the first place. The political perspective of bringing Anatolian people to power was put to the test during the brief political power of the Welfare Party (RP), but it was the AK Party government that has entirely realized it. Prime Minister Erdoğan is a popular leader who directly and literarily comes from among the common people, but holds no complex in the face of the traditional elite. Thanks to his high selfesteem and his firm faith in the long-hidden capacities of the Anatolian people, he has preferred to work with the ordinary men and women of Anatolia in all the levels of administrative and political offices. Indeed, the unprecedented success of the AK Party has built itself upon the Anatolian people's coming to the state governance.
By revalidating the idiom "a huge tree grows from a little seed," Erdoğan trusted his people and presented the doors of the state to them as being wide open. While his government was obtaining successful results from one election after the other, the people acted prudently during the times of crisis (as in the Gezi Park protests or the Dec. 17 coup attempt) through responding to Erdoğan's confidence in them by granting further confidence in him. Such mutual trust demonstrated how solid the ground upon which Erdoğan's popular revolution built itself.
The phenomenon that we call "the fusion of the state and the people" refers to the overlapping of the state's vision with the expectations of the people. In this respect, Erdoğan's holding the Anatolian people in high esteem prepared the ground for the establishment of the "Anatolian power" for the first time since the foundation of the Republic. One of the greatest achievements of the AK Party's politics has, therefore, been the Anatolian
people's coming to power.
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