This article examines a well-used informal institution in Turkish politics, the emanetçilik, which translates as 'proxy leadership'. The emanetçi/proxy is the person who represents a political actor banished from public life and deprived of political rights. In so doing, the article presents several findings to observe how certain informal dynamics affect actors' behavior in Turkish politics. To analyze the case in more detail, the article also studies how several significant facts such as the bureaucratic-authoritarian system affect the rise of such informal institutions. Once the actors' purposes and the general political structure are identified, the emanetçilik emerges as the best-fit category of accommodating informal institutions. After presenting the operational logic of proxy leadership, the article concludes with explaining how such an informal mechanism is binding in politics.
Turkey, informal institutions, proxy leadership, authoritarianism, democratization, leadership, party politics