Based on empirical data on women’s CSOs in Turkey, my study examined what role women’s CSOs played in engendering Turkish democracy under the rule of the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP). To this end, the study investigated to what extent women’s CSOs participated in decision-making processes regarding gender policies in three specific issue areas: violence against women, women’s rights and discrimination against women, and analyzed what the impact of women’s CSOs on those policies was. In doing so, my study analyzed the activities of four groups of women’s CSOs in Turkey: feminist, Kurdish, Islamist and Kemalist women’s CSOs. Drawing on these findings, the study critically discussed the role of women’s CSOs in the democratic consolidation process in Turkey under the AKP. It concluded that increased civic and political participation of organized women engenders Turkish democracy.
Huercan Asli Aksoy is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the University of Tübingen and a Junior Visiting Fellow at the IWM.