TURKEY AMONG NOTABLE FALLS IN “DEMOCRACY INDEX” WITH ITALY AND RUSSIA
The Economist Intelligence Unit released its 11th edition of the Democracy Index, which provides a snapshot of the state of democracy worldwide for 165 independent states and two territories. Covering almost the entire population of the world and the vast majority of the world’s states, The Democracy Index records how global democracy fared in 2018.
There were some notable falls in eastern and western Europe, the index showed. Italy’s ranking fell by 12 places, Turkey’s by ten and Russia’s by nine. “Turkey’s score declined further in 2018 as the country consolidated amid weakening checks on the presidency,” it said.
According to this year’s index, Turkey ranked 110th.
While Turkey’s overall score is 4.37, the score for electoral process and pluralism is 4.50, functioning of government is 5.00, political participation is 5.00, political culture is 5.00 and civil liberties is 2.35. Based on its scores on a range of indicators within these categories, Turkey is classified as a “hybrid regime,” while other classifications were “full democracy”, “flawed democracy” and “authoritarian regime.”
“Turkey’s score declined further in 2018 as the country consolidated the shift to a presidential system of government, which grants the executive wide-ranging powers and greatly weakens parliament,” the report of the index said. “In June, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the incumbent president, won the presidential election, which was held under a state of emergency. The election process appeared mostly free, but largely unfair,” it added.
Detailing the year in terms of democracy, “Opposition candidates received little to no media coverage; the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) candidate, Selahattin Demirtas, had to campaign from prison; and the government restrained freedom of speech and freedom of association. A state of emergency expired on July 18th, but parliament then passed a security law on July 25th that imposes stringent restrictions on freedoms,” the report stated.
According to the report, only three countries improved their scores in 2018: Finland, Germany and Malta. Three countries saw a deterioration in their overall scores: Turkey, Italy and Austria. All other scores stagnated. Once again, none of western Europe´s “flawed democracies”— Italy, Portugal, France, Belgium, Cyprus and Greece— moved into the “full democracy” category, it said.