The Democratic Left Party: Kaplkulu Politics Par Excellence by Suat Kin Iklzoglu

The Democratic Left Party's (DSP) roaring success in the 1999 general election has made it the largest party in Turkish parliament. Yet, the DSP is a party that is almost coterminous with its leader - Bulent Ecevit. Far from developing an institutional identity, the DSP has failed to install intra-party democracy. Its organization, internal functioning, and relations with non-governmental organizations are far from contributing to the consolidation of democracy. That said, its role as a stable partner in successive coalition governments, its moderating stance towards Islam, and its tendency towards careful relations with the military have made it functionally an important actor in Turkey's turbulent polity.