Applying insights from research on civic and political participation, this study focuses on the effects that the recent authoritarian turn taken by Turkey had on the expression of participatory behaviours by young people. The analysis brings about a number of contentious issues and intertwines two recent dynamics. First of all recent events (such as the protests associated with the occupygezi movement) show that youth in Turkey are extremely important players and political actors. Secondly, however, the authoritarian turn taken by the country under the AKP’s governance resulted in serious and alarming limitations to the exercise of basic freedoms and hence participatory behaviours. Based on the results of 40 semi-structured interviews with young people involved in civil society organisations, the article discusses three aspects: young people’s views of active citizenship; the instruments of empowerment that stimulate participatory behaviours and the significance attributed to different means of civic and political participation. The analysis reveals the complexity of active citizenship in a context of heightened authoritarianism and underlines the constraints put on the exercise of civic and political participation by the current government. It also unpacks the alarming consequences of the AKP agenda on the expression of freedoms, with a particular focus on the repression of participatory behaviours.
Department of Social Sciences
Year of publication: 2019Date of RADAR deposit: 2022-12-16