Briefing on the growing importance of the Felicity Party


14 June 2018

The ruling Justice and Development Party is facing a growing challenge from within its own religious-conservative political tradition  

  • The Felicity Party (SP) is rooted in the Turkish Islamist movement from which the Justice and Development Party (AKP) emerged but has become increasingly critical of the government
  • The SP is expected to win seats in parliament for the first time, challenging the AKP in its conservative heartlands as part of a broad opposition alliance
  • By providing a credible alternative, the SP’s performance at the June 24 elections will offer an insight into the political prospects of both the AKP and the wider opposition

The Felicity Party (SP) was formed in 2001 following a split in Turkish Islamism between reformists pushing for modernisation and the traditional leadership of Necmettin Erbakan, founder of the movement. The reformists created the Justice and Development Party (AKP), which embraced economic liberalisation and EU-orientated reform, and united much of the country’s predominantly right-wing electorate into a commanding political force. In contrast, former prime minister Erbakan’s SP saw almost complete decline, winning less than 1% at the last general election in November 2015…

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