Interview with Abdüllatif Şener (Part I):
“Turkish Politics since the 1990s: Hopes, Resentments and Current Challenges”
As Centre for Policy and Research on Turkey (ResearchTurkey), we held an interview with Associate Professor Abdüllatif Şener, who served as Turkish Minister of Finance at RefahYol coalition government (The coalition government established by the Welfare Party and True Path Party) between 1996 and 1997, and as the Minister of State and Deputy Prime Minister at AK Party government (Justice and Development Party) as well as AK Party deputy between 2002 and 2007. As a publicly and very well-known political actor, Mr. Şener was also one of the founding members of the AK Party. Besides his political experiences, we have talked about a wide range of issues which are high on the agenda including: the democratic record of the AK Party government, its Syrian policy, the Kurdish opening, the Presidency system, and finally the Gezi protests in Istanbul. The interview with Mr. Abdüllatif Şener, which we think carries an immense importance for the audience of the ResearchTurkey, will be published in two parts. In the first part of the interview the main focus will be on the establishment phase of the AK Party; the party’s position vis-à-vis the National View Movement, political election processes, and the government, media, capital groups and civil society relationships in Turkey where we had chance to hear the personal views of Mr. Abdüllatif Şener based on his experiences as an insider.