In few countries has government and politics off ered such a mobile target as Turkey. Whether considering its transformation from an empire to a modern republic, its evolution from a parliamentary system to a presidential system, its ever-changing community of political parties, the competing infl uences of Islamism and secularism, or the opposing pull of nationalism and Westernization, Turkey has rarely sat still for long. It off ers us a case study of a society that has found it diffi cult to build a stable democratic system, undermined as it has been by the infl uences of elitism, the periodic intervention of the military, and a heritage of nationalism. For now, at least, it remains a hybrid regime, but this seems unlikely to last; as a case, it off ers a valuable example of a state whose halting eff orts to build democracy have failed to prevent it from falling back into the grip of authoritarianism.
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