When does bureaucracy function in autocratizing regimes? the court of auditors in Turkey

Digdem Soyaltin Colella* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Turkey has experienced a radical political transformation within the last decade. The promising reforms of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in its early years have gradually given way to autocratic politics. The transition to a presidential regime has further widened the executive’s control over the institutional checks and bureaucratic accountability mechanisms. Yet, the Court of Auditors – Turkey’s supreme audit institution – has continued to publish audit reports on numerous institutions, including AKP-run municipalities and private companies owned by AKP supporters, and revealed corruption, waste and irregularities in public spending. This article argues when certain domestic conditions (censored public servants, co-opted mainstream media, and suppressed opposition) are met, bureaucracy can function in autocratizing regimes since it does not generate political power costs for the government, but instead provides legitimacy to the incumbents in the international institutions of the liberal democratic order.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-378
Number of pages22
JournalTurkish Studies
Issue number2
Early online date4 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023


  • autocratization
  • Turkey
  • bureaucracy
  • political costs
  • auditing


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