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The role and treatment of political parties in liberal democracies with reference to the United Kingdom, Turkey and the European Convention on Human Rights

By Demir Huseyin


This thesis analyses current situations of political parties in the UK and Turkey with reference to liberal democracy in general and the European Convention on Human\ud Rights in particular. Political parties are essential elements of liberal democracies. In order to function properly, political parties must operate under the rights to freedoms of expression and association, and right to free elections guaranteed by the Convention. However, political parties cannot be left completely unregulated. There must be some rules in order to prevent them from becoming involved in terrorism and political corruption. A balance must be struck according to the Convention.\ud \ud There is a significant difference between the UK and Turkey regarding the treatment of political parties. Political parties in the UK have always been regarded as purely private organisations and left unregulated. However, due to rising public concerns about political corruption, the current government has taken the initiative to regulate\ud funding and party emblems and names. Even with these changes, the UK still preserves its liberal approach to political parties, and the state does not interfere with the substantive aims and activities of political parties.\ud \ud In contrast with the UK, political parties in Turkey have been strictly regulated in terms of their organisation, aim and activities. The statist nature of Turkish democracy\ud has left no space for political parties to represent private interests and implement their party policies when they are in government. They are not trusted by the state elite (civil and military bureaucracy), and therefore they have been restricted by Turkish law to protect state's interest against individuals' interests. If Turkey wants to join to the EU, she must change her law according to the principles set out by the EU and particularly by\ud the Convention. Changing the law which regulates political parties might be a good start to achieve a fully working liberal democracy

Publisher: School of Law (Leeds)
Year: 2000
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