Justice and Development Party
Published 26th April, 2011
The Justice and Development Party or AKP was founded in 2001 by modernisers from a number of parties including the Virtue party (FP), Motherland Party (ANAP) and Democratic Party (DP).
Their leader was and is Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had been mayor of Istanbul from 1994 to 1998, but who was disqualified from standing in the first election of 2002. The temporary leader was Abdullah Gül until a constitutional amendment was pushed through and Erdogan was elected an MP in a March 2003 by election.
The party describes itself as ‘democratic conservative’ that advocates a liberal market economy and membership of the European Union.
At its first attempt the AKP won 363 of the 550 seats in the Grand National Assembly, making it the first party since 1987 to hold single party rule. In 2007 the AKP won again but dropped 23 seats to take 341 seats, more than enough to rule alone once more.
The AKP is an observer party to the European People’s Party.