Foreign policy and the EU in Turkish politics: exploring trends in electoral manifestos
Hatipoğlu, Emre and Aslan, İlker and Luetgert, Brooke (2015) Foreign policy and the EU in Turkish politics: exploring trends in electoral manifestos. In: Balazs, Peter and Evin, Ahmet, (eds.) Turkey and the European Union: Strategic Partners and Competitors. Central European University Press, Budapest, Hungary, pp. 17-36. ISBN 978-963-89822-1-6
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Is Turkish foreign policy becoming increasingly complex and salient in domestic electoral party politics? Has the past decade of Justice and Development Party (AKP) leadership led to a dramatic shift in the dimensionality of the foreign policy debate or to the strategic positioning of opposition party platforms? Our contribution analyses the promises made by the incumbent AKP to voters in their electoral manifesto on foreign policy and the EU against the realities of these claims and the responses of the two largest political party contenders. Our data are unique considering that coded manifesto data are not publically available for this period or in this detail for the foreign policy party platforms in Turkey. Our analysis suggests that Turkish parties position themselves strategically on salient foreign policy issues and try to produce alternative policies while revealing the weaknesses of their rivals to the constituents. In addition, the salience of these issues changes over time as a result of external shocks, and this also affects parties’ relative positions on specific issue dimensions.
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