HISTORY OF THE JUSTICE AND DEVELOPPEMENT PARTY IN TURKEY
Justice and Development Party (AK PARTY) entered the Turkish political scene on 14 August 2001 under the leadership of Recep Tayyip ERDOĞAN. The Party immediately set out to develop its organizational structure and experienced rapid growth. A nationwide network was built in one year. Simultaneously, the Party's Women and Youth branches were set up and began activities all over Turkey.
AK PARTY entered the general elections of 3 November 2002 despite its recent inception. The will of the voters established the AK PARTY as the predominant political Party in the November 3rd elections: it defeated all other established parties, winning 34% of the vote. AK PARTY became the ruling party, marking the end of the era of coalition governments that began in 1991. 34% of the national vote gave the AK PARTY 363 seats in the 550-seat parliament. After the interim election in the province of Siirt and new participation in the Party, AK PARTY's number of seats rose to 367.
Following the 58th government of the Republic of Turkey, set up under the leadership of Abdullah GÜL, AK PARTY Chairman Recep Tayyip ERDOĞAN was elected to the parliament in the interim election in Siirt and became the Prime Minister of Turkey's 59th government.
AK PARTY held its First Ordinary General Assembly on 12 October 2003. The Assembly was attended by thousands of Party members, and Recep Tayyip ERDOĞAN was unanimously re-elected as Party Chairman.
The local elections of 28 March 2004 were an important second test for the AK PARTY. The Party increased its 34% vote in the 3 November 2002 elections to 42%.
Prevailing in 12 of the country's 16 metropolitan municipalities, 46 of 65 provincial municipalities, 425 of 789 county municipalities and 1,216 of 2,250 district municipalities, the AK PARTY achieved a landslide victory in the local elections.
AK Party is in favor of limiting the terms of office at various levels of the party organization, including the tenure of party leader, with a reasonable maximum period.
AK Party adopts an organization model that is open to knowledge, experience, new technological developments and opportunities.
AK Party attaches importance to an organization model in which channels of communications with all social sections and intellectuals of the country are always open.
AK Party adopts a concept of leadership that takes participation and collective thinking as a basis.
AK Party regards individual freedom as an inalienable right of all human beings.
AK Party advocates that man has inviolable, inalienable and indispensable rights that have existed since his birth.
AK Party advocates the freedoms of religion and conscience, of thought and expression, of enterprise and the right to organize as indispensable principles on every platform.
AK Party advocates the impartiality and full independence of the judiciary.
AK Party regards a democratic society as the guarantee of our being able to live together.
AK Party accepts the principle of acting on the basis of justice, competence, merit and confidence with respect to appointments in the public sphere. It rejects partisanship and all types of discrimination in the exercise of powers.
AK Party undertakes to operate with a concept of principled, honest, ethical and steadfast politics.
AK Party advocates a state of law that is centered on justice, rights and freedoms.
AK Party regards the independence of the State, and the indivisible integrity of the country and nation, as a fundamental principle.