“Turkey has its supporters in this country, on Capitol Hill, but it is largely due to the past track record not the current activity…There is the Turkey we have long relied upon up until the rise of the AKP (the Islamist party that has ruled Turkey since 2003) and now there is a different kind of Turkey. Unfortunately, one we think is going down the wrong path and needs to be engaged and reformed.” Jonathan Schanzer
Turkey is officially a democratic Republic with a unicameral parliamentary body named the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. The parliament has 550 seats, and its members are directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation to serve 4-year terms. The official head of government is the president, who serves a five-year term, and whom is eligible for a second term. However, historically, the prime minister, who is appointed by the president from among members of parliament, has held real power. The Turkish Republic has never been known for the smooth functioning of its democracy, and has suffered from a number of military coups in the past.