Civil Society in Turkey: At a Turning Point

A close look at the research findings shows civil society's growing impact, expanding areas of activity and impressive initiatives to address some of Turkey's most pressing social and political concerns. When compared to two decades ago, civil society's arena and its organisations' development have reached impressive heights.

In this context, the previous CSI study (2006) pictured civil society in a conceptual and operational era of transition. Although research findings then showed more weaknesses than strengths, they also pointed towards some opportunities and potential for civil society actors to tackle the country's democratisation and development goals.

The current CSI study (2010) continues to show civil society in Turkey in an era of transition with more weaknesses than strengths. Although some of the opportunities that were pointed out in the first study have been addressed, the acceleration of civil society's transition has decreased. The persistence of some major weaknesses is worrisome and points towards future obstacles. As such, the CSI study portrays civil society in Turkey facing a major turning point: it will either build on its strengths to deepen its role as an indispensable actor in social and political life in Turkey; or it will enter a period of stagnation that is bound by its persistent weaknesses.


CSI Country Reports in Turkey