Issue ownership in Turkish politics
Arkın, Ahmet (2015) Issue ownership in Turkish politics. [Thesis]
Literature on Turkish politics includes diverse studies of socio-economic cleavages and its effects on voting behavior. However, researchers rarely study the impact of those cleavages on political parties' policies and communication. The issue ownership theory is a trending field of study in the West for the last two decades. This theory argues that deep-rooted attributions to parties not only affect the parties' perception by voters, but it also affects how parties prepare their policies and communicate themselves. This paper serves as an introduction of issue ownership theory to Turkish politics and my findings suggest that issue ownership patterns are prevalent in Turkish politics. Issue stances of party families on different sides of cleavages have become more stable over time. Long-term issue ownerships help parties to position themselves on different issues, and present themselves to the public during election campaigns. Issue salience that is related to performance issues, seems to be effective in determining the voters' party preferences, as well as a part of parties' discourses. Further research on all aspects of issue ownership theory in Turkey would enable us to understand voting behavior and party politics better.
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