Turkey was ranked 147th among 179 countries in the liberal democracy index of the Swedish-based Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) Institute, placed among the bottom 20 percent, according to the V-Dem report published this month.
Turkey is among the 10 countries that “autocratized” the most, together with Brazil, India, Poland, Serbia and Hungary, according to the “Democracy Report 2022.”
The report classified Turkey as an electoral autocracy and placed it among the countries with toxic levels of political polarization.
“Toxic levels of political polarization developed in Turkey after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the AKP came to power in 2002, arguably following the government’s will. It can be argued that toxic polarization functioned as a strategic tool to enable reforms and actions to break down democracy,” the report said.
Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) drives the “autocratization” process according to the report, which says that anti-pluralist political parties and their leaders “lack commitment to the democratic process, disrespect fundamental minority rights, encourage demonization of political opponents, and accept political violence.”
According to the study, the level of democracy enjoyed by the average global citizen in 2021 is down to 1989 levels. Dictatorships are on the rise and host 70 percent of the world population – 5.4 billion people.
The report emphasizes that autocratization processes are departing from incremental changes to more forceful developments as leaders seem to be taking bolder actions now than in the past.