The Justice and Development Party
, abbreviated officially AK Parti
in Turkish as an acronym, is a conservative political party in Turkey. The party is considered by some to be Islamist, accusations the party itself strongly denies. Developed from the conservative tradition of Turkey's Ottoman past and its Islamic identity, the party is the largest in Turkey. Founded in 2001 by members of a number of existing conservative parties, the party has won pluralities in the six most recent legislative elections, those of 2002, 2007, 2011, June 2015, November 2015, and 2018. The party held a majority of seats for 13 years, but lost it in June 2015, only to regain it in the snap election of November 2015 but then lose it again in 2018. Its past electoral success has been mirrored in the three local elections held since the party's establishment, coming first in 2004, 2009 and 2014 respectively. However, the party lost most of Turkey's biggest cities including Istanbul and Ankara in 2019 local elections, which has been attributed to the Turkish economic crisis, accusations of authoritarianism, as well as alleged government inaction on the Syrian refugee crisis. The current party leader is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the incumbent President of Turkey.